As the world's population continues to grow, the 21st century could see us facing an unprecendented hunger crisis. That's the problem that inspired the site Feeding 9 Billion and its new video series, the first episode of which looks at the role that science and technology can play in averting a global catastrophe.
Evan Fraser, the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security at the University of Guelph, narrates the video and he begins by discussing what he calls the "cruise missile" of biotechnology: genetically modified organisms. The use of GMOs has, of course, been extremely controversial. Last weekend, the New York Times sparked debate with a piece about how the anti-GMO stance that has become instinctive on the left is not necessarily supported by science. In response, Mother Jones's Tom Philpott gave his view with "Why I'm Still Skeptical of GMOs." Some genetically modified seeds, he argued, allow for the use of toxic herbicides, while the potential of developing superweeds also remains a risk.
In the video, Fraser points out that regardless of whether we approve of the use of GMOs, there are plenty of low-tech solutions that can help maximize food production as well.
If the video looks familiar, it's because Fraser took up the general topic of feeding nine billion with an earlier animated video on the topic, which we covered in 2012. Three more videos will be released as part of his new series over the next two months. They'll cover issues such as local food and how to improve food distribution.