In the first half of the twentieth century, a ballooning population was threatening global food security. We responded to this threat in the decades after the second world war, during a period we now refer to as the Green Revolution. This period was defined by the adoption and sweeping use of four agricultural technologies: plant breeding, synthetic fertilizers, crop chemicals and, beginning in the mid-90s, genetically modified traits. Alongside these technologies came changes to the supply chain: we began to treat many crops like commodities and, with the expanded use of grain elevators and railways, were able to store and transport harvests in bulk.

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