In a scathing condemnation of U.S. agriculture, Time Magazine has published “America's Food Crisis and How to Fix It.” A searing indictment of nearly all modern food production methods, the article is highly critical of food produced today, as well as those who consume it.
The article warns readers “our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous.”
Focusing its attack on pork production, the article begins, “Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics."
"When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he'll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population.... That's the state of your bacon—circa 2009.”
The article condemns agriculture’s use of energy and warns of terrible consequences “unless Americans radically rethink the way they grow and consume food.”
The Time article presents viewpoints of several groups known for their stance against modern food production including the Pew Commission and The Union of Concerned Scientists.
Read the full article.
Listen to an AgriTalk radio interview with Daren Williams, of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Read Bob Stallman's letter to the Time magazine editor. Stallman is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The Time article is very short on suggestions or solutions on how to continue feeding the world’s 6 billion people. Perhaps they are unaware of the current world population. Or, perhaps their point is that people should just quit eating; it’s such a pesky habit.
“But we don't have the luxury of philosophizing about food,” the article contends, even though it’s the article’s sole purpose. “What we really need to do is…. quit thinking big.”
Obviously, Time thinks it appropriate that American agriculture discontinue feeding as many people as it currently does at a reasonable cost. After all, what do they have to worry about? Those who are priced out of Time’s idyllic food production scenario likely are neither subscribers to their magazine nor customers of their advertisers.
The article laments the fact that “American farmers now produce an astounding 153 bushels of corn per acre.” The reader is led to believe that it would be much better if the yield was half of that, with our “cattle chewing contentedly on the pasture.”
The “story” leads the reader to wonder if the author or editorial staff of Time have ever produced an ounce of food for themselves or others, or if all their ramblings are tossed in from the sideline. They are not part of the solution of feeding people, they are part of the problem.
Here’s a news flash for Time: American farmers don’t philosophize about our food — they produce it. — Rick Jordahl, Associate Editor, Pork magazine