Kansas Biologist Takes Issue with Textbook Ag Science

Nov 11, 2015

A graphic from a new biology textbook that some take issue with, including biologist John Richard Schrock.
Credit Professor John Richard Schrock

For decades Americans have been asking whether it’s better for the earth if humans are herbivores, carnivores or somewhere on the omnivore spectrum? Some textbooks purport to have the answers, claiming to show in graphs and clear language that “herbivore” is by far the best route for humans and the planet. The textbooks insist that any land used for crops will increase the world’s food supply. But biologist John Richard Schrock disagrees, reports Kansas Public Radio.

The professor says these textbooks understand little about ranching science. For example, in much of the central and western US, the topsoil is only a few inches thick. Only grass can grow there—and the cattle that eat the grass. No crops can be grown there. “Take these lands out of cattle production, and you decrease the world’s food supply,” says Schrock.

Listen to Professor Schrock's commentary below: