In a study published November 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers concluded that less-intensive farming in poor countries could combine with rising world food demand to double agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Their solution? Teach those in developing countries to farm more like we do—the high-yield, more intensive way.
The researchers said the problem is land clearing for food production—up to 2.5 billion acres by 2050—combined with inefficient fertilizer use. The result is the release of two harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Adopting nitrogen-efficient, intensive farming practices, the researchers said, can meet demand for food with much lower environmental impacts.
Now, who’s going to explain that to those bastions of anti-modern agriculture Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman?