In Perspective: Gratitude for food science
Other famous agriculture scientists include George Washington Carver for his work with peanuts, cotton and sweet potatoes, a traditional holiday food. He is also credited as one of the first scientists to use crop rotation to improve yields. We certainly can’t forget the contributions of Orville Redenbacher and his contributions to improved popcorn hybrids.
As the world’s population is expected to increase over the next 20 years, feeding the world will be important. Agricultural science will help the world achieve the leaps needed for food production. Science will continue to help us combat crop pests such as rice blast, soybean rust, stem rust in wheat, corn smut and late blight in potatoes.
More than 600 million people could be fed each year by halting the spread of fungal diseases in the world's five most important crops—rice, wheat, maize, potatoes and soybeans. Recent data further suggests that in 70 percent of cases where infectious disease causes the extinction of a type of animal or plant, an emerging species of fungus is behind the problem.
Without the application of science, our farmers won’t be able to produce higher yields.
So, when you sit down to celebrate a holiday meal this season, remember to be grateful for the science that contributed to the food that is on your table.