Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monsanto and Michael Pollan Talk About Creating a World That Can Feed Itself

This is a video of Michael Pollan discussing food security issues. If you click on the link back to the original article the list of topics at the bottom of this post are there. They discuss hormone use, organics, sustainability, etc. Ideally, I hope to go through all of the links eventually, however, with the current inundation of readings and links from classes, I am certainly short on the time and energy for this to happen soon.

Monsanto and Michael Pollan Talk About Creating a World That Can Feed Itself
by Jasmin Malik Chua, Jersey City, USA on 09.23.08

Michael Pollan and Hugh Grant (president and CEO of Monsanto, not the floppy-haired British actor) on the same panel? Bring it. In this 36-minute video, taken on Sept. 17, 2008, Pollan, Grant, and Sonal Shah, a development expert at, talk about the sustainability of food production.

Held on the Google campus, the panel was moderated by Larry Brilliant, executive director of, who became friends with Grant after the two visited the Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway.

Monsanto: Double yields in 20 years
Grant, who presents Monsanto as a charitable outfit for the better good, is all about the numbers, insisting that the way to solve the world's food problems is to double yields over the next two decades, while reducing water and fertilizer usage. His solution is for us to bulldoze our way out of a potential food-shortage quagmire by planting genetically modified seed. Of course.

Pollan: Create a better food-distribution system
"Yield of what?" Pollan shoots back, noting that Monsanto's history has been growing crops, such as corn and soy, for raw materials, not for human consumption. He also says that GMO crops are not exactly renowned for their high yields and that one of the ways to ensuring food security is to allow farmers to save seed, something Monsanto takes a dim view of.

Another wrinkle in Monsanto's yield-doubling utopia is the fact that producing enough food and getting them into the hands of people are two separate problems, he says. Despite bumper agricultural yields in the United States, for instance, there remain some 35 million Americans Pollan categorizes as "food insecure".

More on Michael Pollan
Video: Michael Pollan, Taking a Plant's Perspective
Michael Pollan: Read it and Eat!
Biofuels, Food, and Sustainability Examined: Michael Pollan Interviewed by Yale Univ.
Michael Pollan on What Sustainability is Really About
Michael Pollan: The Government Makes You Fat
Quote of the Day: Michael Pollan on Eating
Pollan On Organics at Wal-Mart

More on Monsanto
Monsanto Dumping Bovine Growth Hormone
Monstrous Harvest: "The World According to Monsanto" Movie Review
Wal-Mart To Monsanto 'No Thanks For The Bovine Growth Hormone
Monsanto pays $1M for GMO bribe
Business Week on Monsanto, Pickens
Monsanto House of the Future
Monsanto’s Monopoly Challenged in Munich
Battles over Bovine Growth Hormones
Got Hormones? - Hormone Free Milk Not Healthier After All

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