In yesterday's USA Today, Charles Stenholm and John Block remark on the 50 year anniversary of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Here is a key passage
The good is that Silent Spring inspired the creation of federal regulation that subjects pesticides and new technologies to strict scientific scrutiny before they can be commercialized and used.
The bad is that the demonization of agricultural technology obscures the overwhelming environmental fact of our times, that such technology — even pesticides — has been an overwhelming good for the environment and human health.
And, echoing a major theme of The Food Police, they conclude:
In other words, if we had not embraced new technologies, the farmers of the world would have been forced to raze and plow an area of land equal to the size of Russia, or three Amazon rain forests, to grow the same amount of food. Had we gone back to organic agriculture, which is 30% less efficient, the loss of forest and habitat would also be huge.
So celebrate Silent Spring and the birth of environmental awareness. But don't forget that in the years since, the biggest contribution to the environment has come from agricultural technology.