Dump 20,000 calories worth of water-soaked feed into a cow and what do you get? 2000 calories of food energy. That lousy 10% return means your steak is a calorically lame sponge into which you’ve poured a couple thousand gallons of scarce H2O, among other things. This disastrous return would ulcerize an investment banker.
Postwar scientific breakthroughs ushered in a new age of farming innovation just when the bombed-out, starving world needed it most. Today, those practices we set in motion to feed the world are destroying the agricultural future of food.