Iowa State Press describes Thomas R. DeGregori's latest book thusly:
Origins of the Organic Agriculture Debate takes a historical look at two contrasting streams of ideas. The first view comprises the flow of ideas in chemistry and biology that have created the conditions for modern medicine, modern food production, and the biotechnological revolution. The second view is the "vitalist" reaction to the rise of modern science and the resulting rejection of modern agriculture.
Contemporary proponents of "organic" agriculture and the anti-genetically-modified-food movement believe that "pure" food confers some special kind of virtue both on those who produce it and those who consume it. They fail to acknowledge that organic chemistry, genetics, and molecular biology have been...essential to twentieth-century advances in agriculture such as plant breeding, and are instrumental to ensuring that there is enough food for everyone.
Add it to a library shelf near you.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thomas R. DeGregori is an ACSH Advisor and a professor of economics at the University of Houston. His previous books include Bountiful Harvest: Technology, Food Safety, and the Environment. A paperback version of his book The Environment, Our Natural Resources, and Modern Technology will be out soon.