These numbers cap a 50-year trend of remarkable growth in world grain production. Since 1960, global wheat and rice production
has tripled, and corn production is almost five times higher.
For decades, doomsayers predicted that food production would fail to keep up with the needs of humanity. In 1972, Donella Meadows and others of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published
The Limits to Growth, which asked the question, “Do these rather dismal statistics mean that the limits of food production on the earth have already been reached?” Paul Ehrlich wrote
in The End of Affluence in 1974, “Due to a combination of ignorance, greed and callousness, a situation has been created that could lead to a billion or more people starving to death.”