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Nature: The Original Chemist

We frequently see a contrast drawn between what is “natural” and what is “chemical.” Sometimes...

The Many Ways Farmers Control Pests

The post originally appeared on the Putting Pesticides in Perspective (PPIP) Blog on...

Enjoying Genetically Modified Beauty

On Memorial Day my sister and brother-in-law took me to visit an extraordinary commercial nursery...

10,000 New Reasons Not To Worry About Pesticide Residues

Each year, the farmers around the world who produce our food (fruits, vegetables, grains) get the...

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Steve SavageRSS Feed of this column.

Trained as a plant pathologist (Ph.D. UC Davis 1982), I've worked now for >30 years in many aspects of agricultural technology (Colorado State Univ., DuPont, Mycogen, independent consultant).... Read More »

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I’m generally optimistic about the ability of the world’s farmers to continue to feed the growing population, and also to satisfy the increased food demand of the growing middle class in previously poor countries. That hope is based on the amazing track record of innovation by farmers and their technological supporters that I have witnessed over the past four decades. I do, however, have some significant concerns about trends and factors that may compromise the farming enterprise over the next critical decades.
Corn infected by the fungus Aspergillus which can produce aflatoxin (Iowa State IPM)

Our adventure started here after an 8-mile hike to Snowmass Lake near Aspen, Colorado


I learned something very important about crop pests in a most unexpected setting – a paradise-like wilderness area in the Colorado Rockies. 

It was the summer of 1978 and I had gotten married the year before. This was my first chance to share a favorite place, the Snowmass/Maroon Bells Wilderness Area, with my wife. 

I was recently asked to give a talk in Toronto addressing this question: “Does science belong on my plate?” The quick answer is:

“No, because Science isn’t a “thing” you can serve or eat. Science is really a verb - a process, a method, a conversation.”

A longer, better answer is:

“There is a rich history of innovation and change in the human food supply extending over millennia. More recent innovation examples that have been achieved using sound science are a continuation of that tradition. They certainly belong on our plates.”