Today, when I was trolling through a stack of dutifully hand-recorded interview notes and research articles with punny names such as, "Reaping the benefits," I came across a fact I had long forgotten about, from the International Food Policy Research Institute: For every dollar of additional income created in the agriculture sector, the economy as a whole will grow by about 2.5 dollars.
This bite of information stuck out at me today, at a time when I'm grappling with how to make a conversation about agriculture, the focus of "Food 2.0: Feeding a Hungry World,"
How do I make agriculture relevant to YOU. Especially today, when the hipper cousins "local" and "organic" are marketed as more wholesome and trust-worthy than agriculture. I see people shuddering at the very vision of giant plows mutilating hundreds of miles of earth. It was in this state of concern that I rediscovered the above fact. Upon reading it, I found myself relieved, as if I was sitting in an airless room and then, suddenly, someone cracked a window.
This fact reminded me that a conversation about agriculture can feel stagnant if it's unidirectional, because the conversation deserves to be multi-directional: what happens to a crop in a field can lead to many outcomes. For some, that outcome is a Green thing. It's food choices that are meant to protect the planet from greenhouse gases
What topic draws you into the discussion, when your life is lived away from a farm and there's a bodega on every corner?
Molly Webster is the producer for "Food 2.0: Feeding a Hungry World," a World Science Festival program that explores how science and technology solutions can improve agriculture -- and life. Learn more by attending the event on June 4, 2010, at 7PM in NYC.
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Agriculture is intricately and intimately to every other human activity. Understanding and improving agriculture cannot be done from only one perspective - not even if it is mine.
Agriculture fascinates me because of its complexities and connections, with the fundamental riddle being how to benefit from ecological productivity without producing any deleterious reductions in ecological productivity, diversity, or quasi-stability. It should be a solvable problem.....
Nice post Molly. I linked to this excellent post on my blog. Thanks for the work you do.
his musical, which opened at the Berkeley Rep a few months ago (to an audience that will ovate any performance), was pretty disappointing. The musical is essentially a "buddy movie," but typically in buddy movies, some great thing is accomplished. It might be some caper or venal activity, but at least one can care about its execution. Not so with this thing. These buddies hardly do anything. They wallow, and while the women in the play are more interesting, the playwright stripped them of identity such that they were mere appendages to the men (one of the women was named "Whatsername;" I don't think this was ironic). In a momentary respite from appendagehood, one of the women ends her relationship with her manchild, perhaps because he was attached to a couch. I'm really not sure why the relationship ended, because I was adjusting my earplugs in response to the howls of joy emitted from the Berkeley Rep's audience; they seemed impressed by this action in light of the general atmosphere of torpidity and self-pity.
"For every dollar of additional income created in the agriculture sector, the economy as a whole will grow by about 2.5 dollars"
Talk about food for thought!
Agriculture truly is an important part of the economy. Nice post.