Feeding another 825 million people is easy

At least in theory

A paper just published in Nature Geoscience has terrific news for anyone worried about the sustainability of agriculture.1 It should be possible to grow 10% more calories and 19% more protein while simultaneously using 14% less rainwater and 12% less irrigation water. And that, the authors say "would feed an additional 825 million people".

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Resistance is fudgeable

If you're messing with the data, you're sunk

Editing the recent podcast on Antibiotics in agriculture was far harder than I expected it to be, mostly because I had to cut away stuff that is important, but just didn’t fit. Much of that was about how, in time honoured tradition, antibiotic manufacturers and veterinarians sowed doubts about who was to blame for what. Here’s a bit of that. Claas Kirchhelle’s paper uncovers a lot more.

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I like the idea of barter; I just haven't been able to make it work, yet. I say this because 7.5 years ago I dared to dream of a working, small-scale food community. The point is that for many home-made food processes, doing it in bulk is often easier than small quantities, and that means you hav...

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The shocking news about breeding for flavour

There's nothing new about it

My compadre Luigi linked, with scarcely a comment, to a plant breeding paper by Kevin Folta, scourge of biotech deniers everywhere.

Stripped down, what Folta and his co-author, Harry J Klee, propose is that plant breeders "can now turn to the consumer for guidance in defining critical desires,...

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Are farm animals routinely getting antibiotics?

It seemed such a simple question

Yesterday brought a tweet with an interesting angle on a scientific development. Accompanied by a herd of stockphoto cows, John Blue of Truffle Media tweeted

"CRISPR-Cas9 used to create genetically Tuberculosis-resistant cows could be 1st #antibiotic free livestock"

Killjoy that I am, I r...

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