By now I’m sure you and four million other people have seen Chipotle’s, Back to the Start video featuring the famous vocals of country singer, Willie Nelson. The advertisement is well done but the message completely misses the mark of reality in regards to food policy.
Eating fresh, local food is great, but it’s simply not possible to meet the demands of our current population totaling over seven billion, let alone our future population that is growing at around 200,000 people a day worldwide.
Let’s be realistic, farmers and ranchers are trying to maximize their productivity to meet the world’s demands, but that does not mean the food they produce is any less healthy nor are their practices any less environmentally friendly. Centuries of technology, research and science have gone into creating an agricultural industry that cultivates the safest, most abundant, nutritious and least expensive food in the entire world. And not only does that food supply feed our nation, but many others as well. Those increases in productivity have allowed America to set export records with corn, soybeans, beef, pork and other commodities feeding more people than ever before.
Going “back to the start,” as the marketing promotion says only puts a global food supply at risk, which inevitably leads to additional starvation, malnutrition and human suffering.
More importantly than ever, our farmers need to prepare for the future, which will demand that our farmers produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have produced in the last 10,000 years combined.