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Paul Roberts: author of The End of Food, and The End of Oil - Part II

As Roberts points out, the problems with our industrial food system, is within the entire system itself. Living organisms require diversity and redundancy in order to maximize survival opportunities. Industrial practices are by nature, designed to root out redundancy (unnecessary costs) and diversity (lower efficiency, hence costlier); the ultimate goal being to produce maximum economic profit over desired human timescales.

Modern industrial agriculture practices over the past half-century have produced remarkable achievements in terms of production yields and greater cost efficiencies. Unfortunately, on nature’s timescale, this experiment has hardly proven itself viable. As we struggle to find replacements for oil, and other fossil fuels to meet our future energy needs, we may also find ourselves looking for a new agricultural model that can feed the world, and protect the environment. Some are arguing that sustainability embodies the right agricultural approach to fuel our next food revolution.

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