Can organic food be mass produced?
Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Nestle received her BA, PhD, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Nestle was appointed Chair of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She held that position until 2004, when she became the Paulette Goddard Professor in the same department.
Nestle is the author of numerous books, including "Food Politics," which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and "What to Eat," an survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket. Aside from her books and teaching, Nestle writes a popular blog for the Atlantic Food Channel.
Marion Nestle: You know when it comes to sustainable and organic agriculture, I think we could do a lot better than we’re doing. Remember we’ve already . . . I’ve already said that we have 3,900 calories a day available in our food supply, which is twice the average need. So we have lots of room for producing less food if that were an issue. In fact most of the research on organics show that it’s almost as productive as conventionally grown vegetable crops, for example. Would that be enough to feed the entire country? I’m not sure. It may be that we would have a mix of organic and sustainable and more conventional . . . less sustainable. But the less sustainable could be done in a way that is much more sustainable. And I think the pressures on the food industry to try to do that are very important, having a big effect, and should be continued.
Organic agriculture is just as productive as the conventional alternative, Nestle says.
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