Raising Less Corn, More Hell

George B. Pyle, Author . Public Affairs $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-58648-115-5

Can American farmers feed more of the world's hungry by growing fewer crops? Veteran journalist Pyle argues that they can—and they must, if the planet's food supply is to remain ample and safe. Growing too much food, Pyle says, actually exacerbates world hunger. Grain gluts, for example, result in dumping of crops in developing countries. Local farmers can't compete against the cheap American imports and go out of business. Large-scale industrialized agriculture threatens food safety, impoverishes American farmers and contributes to obesity and other health problems. Contrary to agribusiness's insistence that we need bigger factory farms and more genetically modified crops, Pyle claims that we can better feed the world by decreasing production (and thus heavy reliance on polluting fertilizers and pesticides), diversifying crop species, honoring local production methods and supporting small-scale independent farms. "The problems of food will not be solved with industrial solutions," he writes, "because food, no matter how hard we try to rationalize otherwise, is not an industry." His well-researched, lucid and passionate argument explains not only what is wrong with U.S. agricultural policy but why it matters. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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