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A man shows the flooded insides of his covered farm in Zhaoguo village, China A man lifts a tarp to show a flood inside his covered farm in Zhaoguo village in central China’s Henan province, Oct. 22, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Outdated Food Systems Are Killing the Planet—and Us

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

For the past 60 years, a series of agricultural innovations have helped feed the world. New varieties of staple crops produced high yields. New fertilizers encouraged crop health. And improved agronomic methods helped farmers make the most of their resources. These new tools and practices became foundational to the production of agriculture in the U.S. and around the world, enabling marked increases in output and important reductions in rural poverty.

But that productivity-centric model is no longer meeting global needs. Over the past decade, hunger has once again started to rise, bringing with it doubts about our long-term ability to nourish the world’s population, which is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. The pandemic only worsened these trends. Today, around one-tenth of the planet­—some 811 million people­—is undernourished ...

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