BEHIND THE HORIZON: think global, act local

 – by Dr. Bastiaan Meerburg – Wageningen UR – original content

Our human population is growing and expected to reach 9.7 billion inhabitants in 2050. All of them need sufficient food of good quality. This puzzles me. How are we able to feed all those people with only one earth that we have available? How can we prevent famine, but also prevent the loss of natural resources at the same time? I think today those questions matter a lot. What would be the best? Agricultural intensification on the agricultural acreage that already is present? Which means going for high yields while at the same time accepting that the natural value of this acreage is limited? Or should we lower the output on the current agricultural acreage, creating more natural value there, but on the same time accept that more tropical forest is converted into agricultural land?

Think global, act local

In Europe, in 1988 a set aside scheme was introduced by the European Union to help reduce the large and costly surpluses produced in Europe under the guaranteed price system of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with as one of the main goals to deliver a number of environmental benefits to damaged agricultural ecosystems. This scheme was abolished in 2008, because of the soaring cereal prices. Earlier, in the United States of America, a more or less similar kind of scheme (not used since the late 1970s) existed.

Currently, greening of the CAP is one of the main goals of the European Union. Farmers must designate a percentage of their acreage (7% of their arable land) as ecological focus areas (acreage that is fallow or contains landscape features, buffer strips or forest). Although this seems fairly reasonable, in fact a significant policy choice is made here, and I wonder whether this has been taken into account by politicians.

Many studies mention positive effects of set aside land on the local biodiversity (e.g. Henderson and others 2000; Herzon and others 2011; Kovács-Hostyánszki and others 2011) and cropland with restored ecosystem services is often seen as the solution serving a broad portfolio of ecosystem services (Foley and others 2005), see Figure 1.


Figure 1: Conceptual framework for comparing land use and trade-offs of ecosystem services. The provisioning of multiple ecosystem services under different land-use regimes can be illustrated with these simple “flower” diagrams, in which the condition of each ecosystem service is indicated along each axis (Foley and others 2005).

Of course, this can be true at the local scale, but what does set aside land mean for the global biodiversity? To my knowledge this relation has not yet properly been investigated. We however know that the most important form of land conversion is an expansion of crop and pastoral land in natural ecosystems (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011). During the 1980–2000 period, more than half of the new agricultural land across the tropics came at the expense of intact forests, and another 28% came from disturbed forests (Gibbs and others 2010). Together, croplands and pastures have become one of the largest terrestrial biomes on the planet, rivaling forest cover in extent and occupying ∼40% of the land surface. In 2012, about 4.92 billion ha globally was used for agriculture, of which about 70% was used for livestock production, mainly for pasture and production of feed crops (FAOSTAT). Global land-use for crop production is about 1.56 billion ha. Assuming 9.7 billion people in 2050, then about 0.16 ha of cropland is available per person.

In the past, changing land-use practices have enabled world grain harvest to more than triple in the past five decades, now exceeding 2.7 billion tons per year (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Development of the total global cereal production 1961-2013. Source: FAOSTAT.

Much of this increase can be attributed to a ~10% increase in world cropland area (FAOSTAT), but most of these production gains resulted from the use of “Green Revolution” technologies, including high-yielding cultivars, application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and further mechanization and irrigation. Although it can be expected that introduction of new technologies may be capable to keep up the pace with the reducing availability of land because of the introduction of set a side schemes, it means that additional efforts should be made to introduce technologies that one hand increase the productivity while at the same time prevent negative side effects such as soil erosion. And besides increasing production, a better focus on prevention of pre- and postharvest losses might also prove useful to provide the global population with sufficient food. In India, for example, it has been reported that 6-9% of the paddy rice in storage is consumed by rodents. If worldwide post-harvest losses by rodents were reduced by 5%, about 280 million undernourished people could additionally benefit (Meerburg and others 2009). So also there, substantial gains can be made.

But now let’s focus again on agricultural acreage and biodiversity. Displacement of land use from a place occurs when there is a migration of activities to another place, therefore causing land change in the other locality is called leakage (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011). The adoption of a set aside policy in the EU might trigger strong cross-border leakages and increase pressure on land use elsewhere. There is strong evidence of such cross-border leakages: between 1990 and 2004, developed countries that enacted conservation set aside policies increased their cereal imports per capita by 42.2% compared with an average 3.5% increase for countries that did not enact such policies (Rudel and others 2009). Because of such increased demands, the need to increase agricultural production in countries with many natural ecosystems may lead to degradation of the latter, with potentially huge effects on biodiversity.

But what to do? The set aside policy of the European Union can thus be effective for local biodiversity, but might cause new and more severe problems elsewhere. Generally, I guess that politicians have the general goal to do good in mind, but they cannot oversee the consequences of their actions thus causing more trouble. Or: what happens behind the horizon, stays behind the horizon.

Only in a minority of cases (as happened with the production of biofuels, when a lot of farmers suddenly switched from the production of food and feedstuffs to biofuels and global food prices soared sky-high) a defined policy is changed again.  But I wonder whether a gradual change of land use elsewhere might trigger such action, as food and feed prices will be less affected in this particular case. And consequently: the effect on biodiversity may be large. This leads to a question that seems awkward: What is more important: presence of a farm bird in Holland or a monkey in the rain forest in Brazil? Personally, I don’t know.

This trade-off between local and global biodiversity is not the only challenge that should be better looked into by scientists in the near future. Changes in biodiversity and use of agricultural land can be the result of many changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate, vegetation and the known sensitivity of such systems to these changes (Sala and others 2000). This makes life very complex, but in order to make good policy decisions it is essential that scientists provide policy makers and politicians with accurate information. Only by doing so we may finally come to a situation where we truly think global and act local and look behind our own horizon.


Foley JA, DeFries R, Asner GP, Barford C, Bonan G, Carpenter SR, Chapin FS, Coe MT, Daily GC, Gibbs HK et al. . 2005. Global Consequences of Land Use. Science 309(5734):570-574.

Gibbs HK, Ruesch AS, Achard F, Clayton MK, Holmgren P, Ramankutty N, Foley JA. 2010. Tropical forests were the primary sources of new agricultural land in the 1980s and 1990s. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(38):16732-16737.

Henderson IG, Vickery JA, Fuller RJ. 2000. Summer bird abundance and distribution on set-aside fields on intensive arable farms in England. Ecography 23(1):50-59.

Herzon I, Ekroos J, Rintala J, Tiainen J, Seimola T, Vepsäläinen V. 2011. Importance of set-aside for breeding birds of open farmland in Finland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 143(1):3-7.

Kovács-Hostyánszki A, Kőrösi Á, Orci KM, Batáry P, Báldi A. 2011. Set-aside promotes insect and plant diversity in a Central European country. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 141(3–4):296-301.

Lambin EF, Meyfroidt P. 2011. Global land use change, economic globalization, and the looming land scarcity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(9):3465-3472.

Meerburg BG, Singleton GR, Leirs H. 2009. The Year of the Rat ends—time to fight hunger! Pest Management Science 65(4):351-352.

Rudel TK, Schneider L, Uriarte M, Turner BL, DeFries R, Lawrence D, Geoghegan J, Hecht S, Ickowitz A, Lambin EF et al. . 2009. Agricultural intensification and changes in cultivated areas, 1970–2005. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(49):20675-20680.

Sala OE, Stuart Chapin  F, III, Armesto JJ, Berlow E, Bloomfield J, Dirzo R, Huber-Sanwald E, Huenneke LF, Jackson RB et al. . 2000. Global Biodiversity Scenarios for the Year 2100. Science 287(5459):1770-1774.

WATER CONSCIOUS: global guru – Henk Ovink

A ray of hope casts a long shadow: Turkey – first essay


Since arriving in Turkey I’ve had a full schedule of activities.  From meetings, farm-visits, conferences, events and meals – I’ve had a full docket of learning about domestic agriculture, food system and water utilization from many in the know.  Now, leveraging a first day off after 17 on the move – with no set plans aside from a bit of  shopping and sightseeing – I thought I’d share some of the sentiment I’ve witnessed that may not mesh with the media’s portrayal as you’ve seen Stateside and in Europe.  There is without a doubt an epic humanitarian crisis & turmoil boiling over in the Middle East.  If you’re watching the news, it does appear the world is burning and accelerants seem incited by further coverage of daily activities in the origin of where civilization began.  

Specifically in Turkey, there’s a feeling of concern for their southern neighbors, but though the awareness of Syrian migration is new to the Western world and the North, Turkey has been dealing with these issues for years.  With already 2 million new Syrian refugees in Turkey over the past 6 months, I’ve been told that if you re-draw your parameters back a few years – the actual number of Syrians in Turkey is twice that. Though related, without a doubt the most pressing concern of Turkey is that of its political future set to determined by the populous in only 10 days.  No matter political affiliation to current AK leadership, Socialist party, Nationalist or Kurdish – each has a vision for a prosperous and safe future.  Just as what we experience in the States, that patronage to what success will actually look like is where points-of-view drastically differ.  

To me, the most tell-tale fact for the future of Turkey lies within the expected 80% turnout for that forthcoming Parliamentary election.  No matter the current state of political separation, terror concern, refugee relation, or alignment with Russia, the US or the EU – the engagement of the populous presents an exciting future for Turkey no matter the results of this election. It presents Turkish citizens that greatly care and will engage in defining their own destiny. More importantly, underpinning that belief clarifies the situation even further as it represents a general consensus that implementing democratic and diplomatic strategies over military force will govern the future of their country.  That’s a big win, and worthy of standing for.  As the literal & figurative bridge to so many cultures, religions and beliefs – a successful Turkey represents an inevitable future world from which we must all learn.


Most of the questions I’ve fielded thus far from friends and peers have centralized around the current state of Turkey and the region. With the essay series atWhatCost I detailed findings of a fellowships program in the Netherlands through stories of key meetings while researching circular agriculture, nutrient security and water access.  I plan to do something similar relating to my studies in Turkey at a later date, but I thought it worth a few short essays describing what I’ve witnessed first hand while trying to immerse myself into Turkish culture equally as a traveler and analyst.  

To be forthright, the Eisenhower program affords unique access, resources and logistics to maximize time.  From diverse and proper meetings, to unlimited assistance from onsite handlers, program manager and interpreters – it would be disingenuous to say that the efficiencies in the orchestrated program were not useful, or were all my own.  To that, traveling on your own in a foreign land with no common language spoken outside populations densities, where I spend more than half my time, has been very informative for many reasons. First, I do stand-out physically in Turkey.  In fact, a bit like a sore thumb.  I really don’t blend in, nor do I try to pretend.  I do work hard not to present myself as an American tourist nor businessman, but I’m sure that’s how I may appear to many. I task myself to turn of the GPS on the phone and spend time getting lost in local communities.  To eat in smaller cities centers, and sharing Turkish Chai & coffee with locals has provided some of my most unique conversations. Some of those discussions were based nearly completely on hand gestures, broken English (or even more-broken Turkish from me), or that of drawn pictures, and sometimes Google as a translator. 

A few times in these impromptu conversations I’ve noticed myself laying on the charm especially thick when there has been no understanding of each other’s language and a general lack of comprehension in the conversation.  I feel a bit like I’ve reverted back to my school-aged years when I’d lack understanding of the subject matter and try to talk my way out of a paper bag. Funny enough, one strategy that seems hard-wired into me and also shared by many others Americans is a repetitive use of a descriptive English word by only altering twang, undulation, cadence or volume.  Somehow, we think that chipping away with that same word, obviously very different in Turkish translation, will eventually get us to an understanding?!  Thus far in these conversations we’ve always found a way to get through it all on the same page. At least I believe that to be the case.  But, I’ll keep my eye and ears open to the stories of a 6’4” American tourist who speaks passionately about food through only his hands!


Clearly, all of my pre-arranged meetings for the fellowship program have been in English or through an interpreter.  There is no question of wasting anyone’s time trying to communicate without a common understanding.  What I reference above are the after work-hour serendipitous meetings that have provided further nuance to my understanding of the state of Turkey that will most likely not be captured in a boardroom or a Ministry office.  

Focusing on food, something unilaterally intimate to most, I’ve been provided opportunity to gain unique access to many stories and storytellers who’ve shared with me the current situations of safety, freedoms, religion and humanity in Turkey.  Despite my shortcomings to effectively speak Turkish, between these intriguing multiple senses conversations with the locals, and others through my translator, or those with the many multilingual Turks who speak English very well – I’ve been able to thus far to gain a different sentiment of Turkey and relations within the Middle East than that are not being well defined by Western or Northern media.  Maybe it’s the general nature of breaking bread, but these stories present a different future for Turkey.  One not yet expressed, but what I believe to be a better reflection of what’s truly the state of this complex union.

Without a set agenda or deadline, over the next few weeks I’ll sporadically share some of these stories. It must be our goal to gain further insight.  To dig deeper, and to learn more of why and not just how.  History is full of examples where continuing to sweep the problem of today under the rug for tomorrow only further promotes additional bias and later incites more enemies.  It’ll again prove to get us nowhere fast is we don’t tackle the situation head-on through diplomacy before might!  We’ve helped build this tinderbox, and now it’s our responsibility to help defuse the situation domestically with proper knowledge and better appreciation of the situation, and work in conjunction with key allies with far greater local knowledge than our own.  This evolution in mindset seems a required next step toward a more empathetic and tactful future shared on shrinking planet of increasingly divergent views.

more to come…

Meet Dr. Bastiaan Meerburg – Head of Livestock & Environment at Wageningen UR Netherlands « atWhatCost essay

Food Value:

 We’ve lost our way in sourcing health:


Unquestionably, the leading feedback I tune in defending the quality & value of food – is it’s too expensive.  Product price over Value is the top driver in most US households, proven in the national statistic comparison for food expenditures introducing essay 2 on Evidence-based Agriculture.

Of any possession, including other perishables like time and patience, food should be heaved to the top of the value chain.  That said, I strongly believe that it’s only a matter of awareness to potential risks looming in US production before price relinquishes it’s near singular grasp on food buying habits. This theory would seem solidified by a few recent instances where societal backlash changed practice and general awareness quickly. A few years back, the newly minted power of social media expressed a near immediate US remediation of pink slime in beef processing.  More recently, our mainstream media reaction to ebola turned a controlled situation into hysteria.  I could only speculate to the impact a medical world with pervasive resistance would have on information outlets and thus general awareness significant enough to enact precautionary change.

Better yet, what we lack is not necessarily more gloom and doom, but instead appreciation for the impeccable upside to personal well-being, societal value, family health, and of that of our surroundings that comes from committing a few extra bucks a month dedicated to buying higher-quality foods of diverse value.

Yes, due to virtually no domestic economies of scale in alternative production; lack of equity and risk capital; lack of equal public dollars supporting initiatives dedicated to alternative vs. conventional agriculture;  and because products at market are sold at controlled premium niche prices – this higher quality food is more expensive – at least for now.  As proven in other countries, most noticeably the Netherlands, it seems a short-horizon before free-markets will connect opportunity with capital to meet new market evolutions and demand.  In the information age, the inevitable future of a market continues to prove as consumer desire. But, somehow we remain food ignorant in the US.  Somehow we persist in not knowing the backstory of food, despite requiring information of everything else we buy except what’s most important in subsistence.

“Awareness of issues, and known benefits of remediation become equally impetus to move value ahead of price alone”

So, we need a bit of a (or in our case in the US, an increasingly larger) gut-check in conjunction with efforts detailed in improving production capacity and efficiency of sustainable agriculture.  This call to arms will equally require social, cultural and personal commitment to the value of food.

It turns out we have a bit of an excuse with this one.  We’re pre-wired to be a short-term thinking animal.  In the book Immoderate Greatness William Ophlus does a masterful job concisely defining how and why we’re pre-programmed to be these short-horizon thinkers, detailing from origin of homo erectus -to- progressive societies why we haven’t been able to break from preordained assets we took with us from the wild.  Once useful, these now prove as limitations when dealing with living with our others in closer confinement.  Fast-forward a few millions years and we’re still living with those defense mechanisms that kept our ancestral generations alive.

We’ve seen some glimmers of evolution recently, especially with broad information sharing.  A few industries have discovered and cultivated methods that circumvent the natural short-horizon thought-process intrinsic in us all.  Most noticeably, at least from my perspective as it’s part of my past career, is the financial retirement industry’s capacity to engage nearly every American, and their employers, to proactively plan for long-term wealth preservation.  Timing was ideal, as driving independent retirement plans cleanly replaced faltering pensions. Milestones reached thresholds, and through decades many retirement goals were reached thanks to smart public and private support, and broad GDP growth & expansion.

The quality of food starts with the plants & animals upon which we feed.

The consumption of food that is clean of toxins, higher in nutrients and safer for your community & planet – a higher quality food – should be perceived no differently than your financial retirement plan.  Small, habitual and sustained practice is what preserves the health of any portfolio, including personal well-being, and dollar cost averaging is no different if it were diet or 401K.  Pay the farmer now or pay the Doctor later – isn’t the whole story anymore.  With the cost of modern care, those Doctor medical bills now cost orders of magnitude greater expensive, you lose those essential perishables of time and patience,  and mostly it means you got a health problem(s) and poorer quality of life.  HR teams explain that once you begin contributing to an employer sponsored 401K program – you won’t even realize it’s coming from your current paycheck. And boy does it compound!  Over the years your investment in safe and healthy food grows and reaps great returns, similar to your financials.  Spending an extra 20 or 30% on food quickly becomes the best investment you’ll afford yourself and your family.  First by delaying your succession plan, the benefit further presents itself in your general wellbeing while stocking away those investments, and to that of your family’s health as well.  Lastly, what habitual practice do you want your grandkids to share, and thus pass to generations-of-the-next?


Without parameters, we’ve afforded too much credit to an industry asked to make and source cheap food.

To clarify, I use diet as a noun.  Anything we consume is our diet.  The process of going on “a diet” perpetuates misconceptions.  How we source and produce our sustenance means a great deal more to the value of that food and the affect on your body than does any caloric or fat content.  A concept of eating what you want, as long as it’s of higher quality – is the place it began and where to return.  This commitment to sourcing develops awareness, engagement and better chronic eating practices that the folks practicing the verb of a diet desire.  When the body operates on proper fuel and framework, including minerals, phytonutrients and lack of toxins and contaminants – the overindulging desires of an overfed and undernourished society reduce as hunger subsides not when the belly is full or stuffed, but when the body feels nourished and sustained.  Stacking cheap, refined and quick acting sugar energy into everything we eat surely doesn’t help the body or mind.   Playing chemical warfare on the body’s ability to regulate hunger vs. desire, sugar in all forms, but especially refined, is mainlined in the Western diet to a point of system shock, inflammation and as an instigator of modern plague. I’ve heard it defined as the starter-drug to the ill-to-pill reactionary approach to healthcare.

If we have hope of collectively empowering healthcare to be electively preventative, we must begin equally on the farms as between the ears.

Deep roots:

No matter from where you hail, we all share food to be much more than caloric.  Further, food runs much deeper than what’s often be defined as ethnic. Instead, I think food and that of its production share a common language amongst any successful lineage proven-out with a national, cultural or regional pride.  Heritage and food/ diet are nearly interchangeable in most cultural backgrounds represented Stateside.

Instigating and antagonizing this lost cultural heritage via food could happen in nearly every US household.  To utilize an aggregate of traditions to sculpt a new national food identity for the US which can learn from so many successful attributes of our diverse citizens.  A StoneSoup for health – the basis for making these cuisines unique becomes focus on sourcing only top quality raw materials.  This melting pot for food heritage of the US is lofty goal, but one I believe to have potential of great advocacy and support, when promoted and supported appropriately through awareness and production infrastructure.


Currently done primarily in higher-end white tablecloth restaurants of celebrity chefs, the opportunity is to make the farmer the rock-star of food – not the person mixing the ingredient nor turning on the cook-top.   High-end restaurant food quality sourced broadly and diversely as means of preventative health has teeth.  That said, we do have cultural food heritage broadly digested in the States – but predominately and stereotyped globally as cheap and fast foods. If not super-sized at the table of the franchised restaurant – this lower quality commoditized foodstuff makes up the vast majority of the center aisles of the grocer –  the pinnacle example of sacrificing food value for price and profit.   The game theory presents this as the best possible scenario as food desires and production requirements evolve.  Delving deeper through awareness and appreciation into food’s backstory as a common core competency to reinvigorate each food-heritage through a new national ideology of food. As the Dutch have done with dairy, glass-house horticulture and recently clean meats – owning a positive persona focuses proper attention.

Based on proper financial drivers supporting an innovation economy, improving raw materials in conjunction with informing consumers of the true and accurate value of reducing risk through cleaning a food system of neurotoxins, hormone disruptors and animal steroids will have positive recourse with lasting effects to body, ethos and generation ahead.  A roughly painted picture of OneHealth in the US could be cultural or regional pride that celebrates diversity of population – equally.  That wonderful nuance that makes us each so unique, but equally as common amongst every Joe seems a bridge built by getting more folks thinking again about food for it’s value to human and environmental health, and developing a shared pride associated to each diverse recipe using nothing but healthier and safer foods of greater value.

read more:  @WhatCost

Hello from Turkey!  I’m safe and well.


First, I am fine; thank you for all the emails and calls. I’m in Turkey for the month of October as part of an Eisenhower Fellowship program focused on food, water and production. I left the Capital city of Ankara on Thursday and remain safe. My thoughts go out to all the families who’ve lost in this senseless violence. Above, a photo taken just this week presenting a cobbled together ancient Ankara Castle as inspiration of a society with millenniums of resilience (note the integrated Roman ruins). Stand with Turkey!

Here’s to a more empathetic and diplomatic future!

@What/Cost – essay collection INTRODUCTION


Identifying food as primary human and planetary healthcare:

@WhatCost is a series of essays evaluating how circular agriculture is the inevitable future for us all.  Through embracing the opportunity of diversifying our production portfolio to service growing market demand, the States mitigates intensifying global market trends and concerns of nutrient security while strengthening ties with tight allies.

In this first introductory essay, I overview the 4 concept pillars which reference more than 30 global-thought leaders visited while traveling the Netherlands & Brussels this past May.  If you’d like to read ahead, more details can be found:

In future S2T mailings I’ll showcase key contacts profiled in different essay chapters. I’ll also share original content penned by new friends met during travel in May and now October, as well as other contributors looking at the problems and pragmatic business solutions for the planet our kids will inherit.  

Turkey – a country built on sustained resilience:


(photo:October 8th in front of the National library in Ankara)

In just one week I’ve learned how much respect & adoration the States should have for our key ally Turkey.  If not the epicenter, than surely the bridge of global influence, this country of 98% Muslim inhabitants well represents the West while keeping a working relationship with the Middle East, managing turmoil with their immediate neighbors, and equally keeping Russia at bay.

Regarding Turkey’s food (the premise of my Fellowship study program) well, it’s amazing!  Fresh, vibrant, local, wholesome would be a few ways I’d best describe it thus far.  You see, Spain, France, Greece and Italy are the pinnacle of food cultures. Even Switzerland, Austria, Croatia and Portugal have immense clout. The secret seems evident – they’re all connected by being directly on, or one degree of separation from, the richness of the Mediterranean and its climate. That capacity to deliver healthy & diverse crops, and preserve social & cultural food values over thousands of years has made each of the aforementioned countries of some of the healthiest societies & equally lowest healthcare costs in the developed world.


(Safa Uslu – Int. Eisenhower Fellow & Turkey’s Min. of Energy head of multinational relations)

The country not yet included in the discussion is Turkey.  With the 4th largest imprint on the Mediterranean, and when including the bounty of the Black Sea, Turkey has the same milage of coastline as Italy, and far more land mass than any of their EU brethren.  Turkey has resources to not only feed well their 77M populous, 44M tourists and 2M refuges – they produce significant gross export.

Now, with plans of investing in agriculture at significant scale, let’s hope the Turks don’t forget the value of preserving the infrastructure and food culture afforded by their 3M farmers who often work the land with husbandry in a similar practice with 10 generations prior.  I will continue to promote the importance of what’s happening Stateside with changing consumer sentiment and within an agricultural system of intrinsic flaws. To better appreciate that a flavor of modern farming which includes advancement in circular practice is where the next innovation economy lies is equally essential for us in the States and the future practices of Turkey. Being coerced into thinking the grass is greener on the side of industrial conventional practice, just as many domestic consumers in the States, awareness of the true cost of food is vital to Turkey’s future.  As we all continue to evaluate the importance of nutrient security and not just caloric output in this unique region, we’re reminded we all share this shrinking planet and must plan and act accordingly.

more to come…



Evaluating a proven Dutch model for producing safe and healthy food as risk mitigation to our near singular commitment to conventional practice increasingly susceptible to evolving regulatory & market forces, atWhatCost is a six part long-form essay series detailing how investments in Circular Agriculture positioned in a well-supported innovation economy affords domestic US production a pragmatic future of paying for human & environmental healthcare through the food we eat.  The findings of my EisenhowerFellowship program to the Netherlands focus primarily on reducing current exposure in food animal production through deeper appreciation of a ‘true cost’ of food, and further promotion of system resilience & greater precision to empower food value as foundation for future wellbeing and ecological vitality.

VIDEO:  atwhatcost overview


Animal Production: White House Issues Plan to Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria