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Loren Trimble

Line Development Breeder (Maize), Monsanto Company

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Food Quantity vs. Food Quality

Dan Barber shares some elegant stories about food production and ecosystem services. In these two talks he highlights the importance of food production that is sustainable and emphasizes a chef's desire for the highest quality food anywhere.

The debate that I am proposing does not disregard the importance of high quality food; rather it is to identify the importance of increasing the quantity of all foods.

Several studies have identified that food processing, government policy, transportation, and food waste are all factors that increase hunger and decrease the availability of food throughout the planet. Some would even argue that increasing food production is unnecessary if we could just better distribute the food we are already capable of producing.

The ecosystem is a complex entity, many of the services provided by organic and sustainable farm practices are not capable of 'scaling-up' to produce enough food for the growing world population. As it is now, 1 billion people are either malnourished or undernourished and the number is increasing every day. These people are not interested in foie gras, they are interested getting just one more calorie to satisfy their hunger. Sure food quality is important, but how much does that foie gras cost? It may be as much as an entire month’s salary for some of the poor people on our planet.

Perhaps the agricultural industry of today is not perfect, but at least its target is feeding billions of hungry people (not a few rich people). Without the efforts of the agricultural industry, billions more people would go hungry every day.


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    May 11 2012: People are not only just eat to survice but also want to enjoy the food. When we are rich, the food will be quality but if not, it will be quantity. This old news is not for a specific country in this world but rather for all of developed and developing countries.
    A big boring bowl of rice and a small sweet KFC, which one would be the best choice ? For kids: In developing countries, they prefer the first choice cause they need to fullfill their stomach for a hard day on the field and the second choice would be the best one for kids after finishing the game in Disney Land in developed countries where food is not a big problem with them.
    We, as human still have a lot of work to do, to decrease the range among the poor and the rich countries.

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