â€œWill Frankenfood Save the Planetâ€ is an opinionated examination of whether transgenic foods offer a practical solution to feeding the planet as populations grow. .
No-till farming, meaning no ploughing is a major change in the agricultural process, since ploughing has been the standard for over 10,000 years. Ploughing facilitates pollution run-off, erosion and release of greenhouse gases. Todayâ€™s ground-breaking farmers are working on ways to eliminate ploughing. The benefits of no-till farming are not only environmental, but it produces a higher and better quality yield. In addition, no-till farming is a financially wise move because it saves the expense of fuel needed for ploughing as well as other energy costs. Furthermore, no-till farming has had a large impact in cleaning up some of Virginiaâ€™s rivers and waterways because it limits the fertilizer run-off, which is a major cause of algae bloom that kills marine life. A major obstacle to no-till farming however is that it is dependent on the use of genetically modified crops.
Regardless of which of the UNâ€™s population projection ultimate is realized, there will be an increase in the percentage of Earthâ€™s surface used for agriculture. Presently, that increase can be represented by the size of Greece of Nicaragua EACH year.
Virtually all types of farming practices pose some sort of liability. Organic farming can pollute water and contaminate food; traditional farming use less herbicide, but plough more and low-input farming uses fewer chemicals, but more land. Any way you look at it, agriculture â€“ feeding the planet- results in some form of environmental pressure.
The essay takes the position that we need to get over the population hump of the next 40 or 50 years. After that, we should home free. Nevertheless, how can we acheive that without causing major irreversible environmental damage? The Green Revolution was a start, but now there are more people to feed and less space available, so the strategy of the 1960s and 70s is not going to do the trick.