World food.

David C. Logan david.logan at
Thu Nov 14 05:28:51 EST 1996

S A Croft (S.A.Croft at wrote:
: It has been suggested to me that there are enough crop plants grown 
: world-wide to feed the entire population of the Earth, and the only 

I have heard that there are enough crop plants grown in the U.S. to
sustain 1/4 of the world population.

: reason that food shortages occur are due to distribution problems.  

Kirk answered:

>Well, what can you do when 5 million people are starving 8000 miles
>away? Continually jet tons and tons of food over, only to cause an
>even greater dependance due to population expansion?

One could easily argue that concentrating on exactly this problem of 
distribution would be as effective a way to deal with the problem as eg. 
modifying western crops so that they may be more likely to perform well 
under harsh conditions. Where has this approach taken us so far? A 
dependance on western Maize which subsistance farmers have to buy from 
western companies and yet is then found to be more prone to certain 
diseases/parasites etc. Who is the winner I wonder?

david.logan at

David C. Logan
Department of Plant Science
University of Oxford
South Parks Road


More information about the Plantbio mailing list