There are 500 million small-scale farms in the world, making it by far the most frequent type of organization on the planet. About 70% of the world’s 1 billion chronically-malnourished people are small-scale farmers, making this the neediest organization on the planet. Fortunately, we have the technology to double productivity on small-scale farms using eco-friendly methods like Conservation Agriculture (where food is grown in ways that enrich the soil without use of pesticides and costly fertilizers). Unfortunately, many high-income countries rely on modern “industrial agriculture” which is based on inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, pumped irrigation, and so on. Although it seems like industrial agriculture is efficient (e.g., only 3% of Americans are involved in farming), it is actually energy-inefficient and unsustainable (e.g., fertilizers need to be mined, transported, and applied with machinery). One study showed that, prior to the Industrial Revolution, farming yielded 40 times more energy outcomes than energy inputs, but this ratio was reduced to 2.1 units by 1971. Today it can take 7 to 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food energy. Moreover, hundreds of studies show that industrial agriculture widens the gap between rich and poor, and that it lowers the quality of soils and water. Even so, this highly unsustainable model is being promoted because it “efficiently” produces cheap food (e.g., direct fuel subsidies to agriculture in the USA amounts to $2.4 billion). So cheap, in fact, that on average 25% of food is wasted after being purchased from grocery stores.
Question: Do you think we are facing a food systems crisis?
 This paragraph draws heavily from Dyck, B. & Silvestre, B. (2019). A novel approach to facilitate the adoption of sustainable innovations in low-income countries: Lessons from small-scale farms in Nicaragua. Organization Studies, 40(3), 443-461.
 Bayliss-Smith, T.P. (1982). The ecology of agricultural systems. Cambridge University Press. See also Dyck, B. (1994). “Build in sustainable development, and they will come: A vegetable field of dreams.” Journal of Organizational Change Management, 7(4): 47-63.
 Page 164 in Princen, T., Manno, J.P., and Martin, P. (2013). Keep them in the ground: Ending the fossil fuel era. State of the world 2013: Is sustainability still possible?, Worldwatch Institute. Ch. 14:161-71.
 Gunders, D. (2012, August). Wasted: How America is losing up to 40 percent of its food from farm to fork to landfill. NRDC Issue Paper 12-06-B. New York, NY: Natural Resources Defense Council.