Friday, December 2, 2011

Really good food science

It seems that pretty well every enviro-fool thinks they have some advice to offer about food production.  Here’s a news flash – just because you can find your cake hole to feed yourself doesn’t make you an authority on food production.  If you don’t understand why Haber-Bosch is fundamental to our lifestyle then you aren’t competent to comment on food production. 

Here’s an excellent video that talks about the importance of plant breeding.  When the seed goes in the ground the potential yield is limited only by the genetic potential of the seed.  After seeding there are a host of factors that influence yield – nutrition, moisture, parasites, disease and others – but at the time the seed goes in the ground the only limit on it’s potential yield is genetic.  You can think of genetic potential as an ultimate yield that is determined by the seed’s genetic makeup and then gets picked away at by all those other factors.  Without good breeding programs tailored to the local climate and management you can never have high yields.  And without high yields we all pay more and go to bed hungrier.

We have a plan

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