Nourishing the Planet with Sustainable Farming

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Check out this opinion piece by Mark Bittman in today’s New York Times on the importance of sustainable agriculture to alleviate global hunger. Referencing UN special rapporteur on the Right to Food and State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet contributing author, Olivier De Schutter’s new report, Agroecology and the Right to Food, Bittman argues that organic and sustainable agricultural practices “can feed more poor people sooner, begin to repair the damage caused by industrial production and, in the long term, become the norm.”

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(Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

In his report, De Schutter argues that sustainable agriculture should become an immediate priority for undeveloped countries and developed countries alike. And Bittman emphasizes that it needs to be a global effort: “We need a global perspective, the (moral) recognition that food is a basic right and the (practical) one that sustainability is a high priority.”

A few ways that the global agriculture community can begin this process, Bittman suggests, is to cut back on the “production and consumption of resource intensive food, increase efficiency and do something about waste.” Bittman goes on to mention that some experts estimate that 50 percent of all food is wasted.

Other reports and studies mentioned in the piece include State of the World 2011, as well as those put out by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the University of Michigan.

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