By George Naylor
The World Food Prize was established by Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native considered to be the father of the Green Revolution, which centered on the laboratory breeding of cereal crops that could increase yields through the application of artificial nitrogen fertilizer without lodging (falling down).
Through the years, this has been generalized to glorify all technologies that increase yields without regard for issues of ecology, culture, or the concentration of political and economic power through these technologies.
The Green Revolution fully ignored the role of democratic policy — which avoids ecological and social costs while ensuring that food production and food producers remain vital to their society and culture.
From the perspective of family farmers and peasants who revere “food sovereignty,” sustainable, democratic foods that respect ecology, culture and diversity of economic opportunity offer a lot more than just improving the “quality, quantity or availability of food” for current and future generations.
The mechanization and globalization following World War II has led to urbanization, deteriorated rural communities and industrialized agriculture.