I have no idea how he comes up with it, however Matt Ridley (on BookTV) says we have profoundly increased the productivity of our land so that we now need much less land to feed each person: in the time of Hunter gatherers 1,000 ha (The hectare is a unit of area, defined as 10,000 square metres-wikipedia), in the 1950s 4,000 sq. m. and in 2004 1,250 sq m (av cereal yield). It is nice to finally see a plug for technology with reference to growing food. If the government (pushed by lobbyists) would replace supplementing corn with supplementing fruits and vegetables for human consumption this would support research for more discoveries there. This will be a great revolution! Imagine the most delicious fruits and vegetables available very cheaply and conveniently and popularly.
At this moment the corn growers are paid to grow corn in the U.S., their surplus corn product quickly makes it into soft drinks (corn sugar) where they can dispose of tons of product for profit. This new addiction is killing people in a slow painful death where people drown their organs in fat. Addicted people are literally drinking liters of soda a day and slowly killing themselves. If it can be any inspiration, the last time I had soda was back in the 1980’s when I quite eating cows and pigs.
Here is the FDA on obesity in 2004:
“In 2002, three states had obesity prevalence rates of 25 percent or more, and all but 15 states had obesity prevalence rates of 20 percent or greater.
Overweight and obesity are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Approximately 400,000 adult deaths in the United States each year are attributable to unhealthy dietary habits coupled with physical inactivity. Overweight and obesity are considered risk factors for other chronic conditions such as diabetes and certain cancers, including cancers of the breast, colon, kidney, esophagus and endometrium.
As the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the United States, so have direct and indirect related health care costs. The current total cost of overweight and obesity is $117 billion per year, which is greater than 5 percent of nation’s total annual health care expenditures.”
Yes the U.S. currently PAYS farmers to overproduce a product that raises health care costs. In my opinion, Americans will find a way to kick the corn-fed beef eating habit and move on. I think we are already starting it. People are producing/trying different foods. People are accessing the information they need to help them find better options for themselves.
This is funny! See the metaphor – Repurpose the industry.: