Comment: That argument is misleading

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That argument is misleading

It's true, the cultivation of high-yield strains of wheat have saved millions of lives. Maybe even a billion lives.

However, making that argument implies that there would have been millions of deaths, or maybe a billion deaths if wheat wasn't part of the equation. That is not true. It may be a morbid argument, but a majority of those millions and billions wouldn't have been born had it not been for the cheap calories wheat provides. It can be argued that wheat subsidies and food aid in poor countries has in fact caused their explosions in population growth which has only exacerbated their poverty problems. This in turn has required still more aid to be sent to sustain them.

Don't forget that so-called western nations all had their own population explosions with the introduction of better healthcare and cheaper food. But those nations emerged on the other side richer and stronger, rather than poorer and sicker.

If you're going to defend the cheap calories of hybridized high-yield wheat (and other grains), you should define your goal as it truly is: To enable as many people to be born as possible. That, in essence, is the emotional argument which you are proposing. Some of us disagree with the idea that such a goal is noble. If you examine the poorest cultures on earth, you can immediately see how much harm our reckless interference has been doing.

A truly scientific argument would be an examination of how we can make existing lives better without causing a population explosion on a scale that would undo all of our efforts. Unfortunately, high-yield wheat has had a big hand in undoing just that.