Nestle's chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe holds forth on global macroeconomics regarding food, agriculture, fuel, and the food industry. Too, too many insights abound in his discourse to summarize here, but we'll summarize a few:
- Food and fuel are linked by the calorie. Because we always use many more calories for fuel than for food, we can never replace our use of fossil fuels with biofuels.
- Using biofuels always drives food prices upward. That has little impact on the West, but lots on the South.
- Certainly we can feed the number of people projected to live in the world in 2050, but not without the ongoing "Green Revolution" propelled by advances in agricultural production. Those are now propelled by genetically engineered crops, for which the powerful Europeans have such an irrational hatred that they are stifling the growth of agriculture in the developing world.
- Organic farming is unproductive and so a burden on the world's poor imposed by the world's rich who imagine falsely that organic means healthy.
- Putting a cost on water may be the best way to ensure that it's used efficiently, so as to boost global food production over time.
- Without a food industry, we'd all either starve or become subsistence farmers, meaning we'd mostly starve.
But perhaps the most potent solution is to make use of the agricultural and marcoeconomic forces that lie ready to hand, that don't depend on ideally selfless donors, that allow more people to pursue their aspirations for physical health and economic self-sufficiency, including having some healthy meat proteins in their diets now and then.
Give for sure, gentle readers. But back policies that really boost the production of food globally and so deliver more people from hunger and toward dignity.