Some of my quotes

Here are, in no particular order, some quotes from my writing and speaking:

Nobody needs to be an expert on anything to have an opinion and having an opinion does not make anyone an expert. Even experts from in the same field can have opposite opinions. Reasons more so to be critical of experts.

Since the challenge to feed the world is to meet future demand, we must influence demand to become sustainable. Then, it will be easier to make food production sustainable, too.

Subsidies should have an expiration date.

My grandparents’ generation didn’t waste food. They knew what to do with leftovers and scraps. Today’s consumers just need to learn from them. Most of the future solutions can be found in the past.

A sustainable future will take collaborative action from all stakeholders. Why try to do it alone or exclude others? It’s not possible.

Humanity’s first sources of energy were renewable: food and wood. It is always a good idea to reflect about the past to understand our relationship with the environment.

Most future innovations in agriculture will originate from other sectors. Curiosity will be an asset for a successful future.

Innovation needs to be developed for the customer’s benefit before the supplier’s. The latter will come naturally if the former is on target.

Subsidies on production volumes and inputs should be eliminated and replaced by bonuses on yields.

Societies have the leaders they deserve. Prosperity, as well as demise, is never accidental. Scary thought, isn’t it?

It’s possible to provide for the needs of 9 billion people sustainably, but meeting the wants… that’s a different story.

When resources are scarce, resourcefulness increases. Poor neighborhoods create an amazing amount of innovation, yet neglected by the wealthy because not high-tech enough.

There cannot be long-lasting social responsibility without loyalty and respect.

As long as we prefer to blame than to fix, it should be no surprise than things don’t improve.

Sustainability is about cycles and closing loops. With finite resources, making the circular linear is the surest way to the unsustainable.

If our relationship with food were about rationality, there would be no obesity. Clearly, the stats show major consumer irrationality.

Critical thinking is an essential element of a scientific mind. Without it, beliefs replace science.

I believe that dealing with living organisms and life includes philosophy as much as science. That is why we are equipped with 2 brain hemispheres.

I often wonder if those who reject emotion-based arguments have no emotions. Is the life of the rational without love and joy?

If we all were rational and interested only in the truth, there would be no differences of opinions, no arguments and no disagreements.

People wouldn’t buy ugly produce in supermarket, yet they happily pay double for them on my neighborhood’s farmers market.

The future won’t be science-based only, but intelligence-based, with intelligence in all its different meanings.

Food security frees people and gives them a sense of future. It reduces the temptation of violence and extremism. It’s a pillar for democracy!

After all, technology is only as effective as the ones using it. New technology needs to come with proper instructions manual and training.

As the rate of urbanization increases, so will the amount of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus in city sewers. Those need to go back to farmland instead of ending in the sea!

Since 30-40% of all food produced ends wasted, and water for agriculture is 70% of all water use, then 20-30% of all water used in agriculture is wasted.

We must produce better and smarter. The same is true for consumption. We can’t succeed the future if we don’t all contribute to improvements.

Sustainable diets must also be price competitive to succeed. Most people think with their wallets when buying food.

Sticking to a past glory won’t lead to a glorious future. Complacency leads to demise. Building a future is about learning, creating and fighting.

It’s unrealistic to expect politicians to be long-term oriented and altruistic when the voters aren’t.

Sustainability is not about philosophy or ideology. In the end, it’s about one thing only: life… or death.

Over-consumption is the forgotten food waste. It doesn’t end in garbage, but in fat. In rich countries, food consumption is twice the actual nutrition needs. This means a waste of 50%.

It would be nice to make a distinction between physical and economic food insecurity. It would allow better-targeted actions.

To achieve sustainability, we must first rediscover humility.

Sustainability does not mean the end of growth. It means qualitative, not quantitative, growth.

Sustainability is at least as much about morals and behavior as it is about technology. We need to shift thinking from always more to always enough.

For the world’s leaders, international conferences on environment and sustainability just look more and more like modern days’ versions of the indulgences the church used to sell in the Middle Ages.

If the leaders are unable to manage change toward sustainability, will the next agricultural revolution be just plain revolution?

For the future, we need to challenge today’s certainties more than we do.

It will be a different world that will require different solutions.

To be truly sustainable, agriculture must be financially sustainable, too. If the math does not work, it will not happen. It’s that simple.

Standardization not the same as efficiency. The future of agriculture is in local tailor-made optimization. Our thinking will have to shift from linear and mechanical to adaptive and circular.

It is easier to identify the unsustainable than to know the sustainable. The world doesn’t need to be perfect. Removing imperfections is already progress.

It is not possible to develop a sustainable economic model without clearly stating the place and role of human beings first.

The one thing that is never mentioned about sustainability is common sense. Clearly we lost it a few decades ago. It would be nice to use it again.

Throwing away and wasting are among the main threats to sustainability. Behavior matters. Sustainability starts at the consumer level. The rest follows.

Food affordability depends on the quality of the society.

Because of the long-term effects, sustainability depends on the quality of the leadership, and its ability to manage both short-term and long-term consequences, financially, socially and environmentally.

Maintaining sustainability with such an increase of population also means that the margin of error per inhabitant decreases.

If such an area could be developed into efficient agriculture and produce similar yields as in farming regions where farmers have access to the necessary resources to deliver good work, the African continent would become a major agricultural producer and make Africa a net food exporter.

Food supply needs farmers. Agriculture needs to attract people by showing that it can be a viable living.

The tonnage of food thrown away by consumers in rich countries is almost as high as the total food production in sub-Saharan Africa.

Solving the post-harvest problem will contribute to more social stability in developing countries.

The energy markets have already gone up, but this is only the beginning.

Clearly, the challenge of feeding the world will depend increasingly on meeting the demand for meat. The challenge for producers of agricultural commodities will be to keep up with the demand for animal feed. As demand for meat increases, there is no doubt that more and more questions will arise about how much meat the world can afford to eat. The world food situation will depend on how much meat people want to eat, not on calorie count.

Agriculture needs to be an attractive profession if we want to have the people that we need to produce all the food.

Is it really possible to talk about a global food crisis when the survey mentioned previously shows that more and more people in more and more countries are overweight? Is it possible to talk about a food crisis, when a majority of people consumes more calories and protein that they need from a purely nutritional point of view? It would be more accurate to talk about local food crises in a world of plenty.

If agriculture is not sustainable, the world has a problem.

Where there is hunger, there is no prosperity.

Efficiency is not a luxury, but it is a necessity.

Leaders also need to be innovators.

Fear of change is not as much about change as it is about uncertainty. Fear of change is actually the fear of loss.

The future will be prosperous if the leaders work towards helping others succeed.

Of all the resources on Earth, one is not depleting: the human resource. A larger population on Earth means more ideas and more brainpower.

To meet future food demand, farmers and all the players involved in food production will need to be innovative and daring. Being innovative and daring does not mean being reckless.

The future will be about always enough today and tomorrow, instead of always more. The central focus will be about meeting the needs instead of meeting the wants.

Push marketing is about creating wants, while pull marketing is about filling needs.

The key question to ask will be “How can I help you?” Sustainable future growth will come only from altruism.

The end of the consumption society will not be the end of consumption. It will be the end of excesses and waste. Individual consumption will decrease, but the number of people will compensate for that. It will be a different type of attitude, which will result in a different type of products and services.

The most successful endeavor or most successful people are not necessarily the ones that have of the most resources at their disposal, but they are always those that are the most resourceful.

We are all responsible for what happens, either because we make it happen or because we let it happen.

To succeed in feeding the future world population sustainably, the first thing is to believe about the future.

All success stories have one thing in common. They have strong leaders with a clear vision of what needs to be done. The leaders also show the ability to gather all the energies and get a consensus on the objectives and the path to follow. Unfortunately, all failure stories have leadership in common, too.

Selfishness is the ultimate form of poverty of the soul. It is a sign that one has nothing to offer to the world, and of the cowardice not to try to improve.

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