Agriculture at a crossroads: food for survival

Two formidable challenges seem to overarch agriculture and food production in this century: how to end hunger and how to keep global warming at a level that will allow humanity and the agroecosystems we depend upon to adapt in a noncatastrophic way. Two outstanding paradoxes mark these challenges: Modern agriculture is producing too much and still a billion people on this planet suffer from hunger, while many more are not nourished properly. At the same time, agricultural production and our food system accounts for more than 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions while the plants and soil it is based upon have the potential to reduce rather than increase global warming.