I had several reasons for writing this book. First, as a university professor, I need it for my own use. I spend the bulk of my time trying to explain concepts in ecology, evolution, and environmental science courses to biology majors and to non-biology majors. My classes are not packed with facts so much as they are spent discussing and learning the concepts governing how organisms live in the natural world. My students then do a fair amount of writing to convince me they can express those concepts in their own words. All of these concepts are linked and inter-related and talking about one necessarily means referring to the others. This book is an encapsulation of many of the major topics in my courses, but in what I hope is a logical sequence that ties many of them together.
Second, not everyone goes to college, but I think everyone needs to have a clear understanding of these concepts. This book is an attempt to present, in non-technical terms, the rules that govern food production and the difficult situation in which we find ourselves nationally and globally.
Third, a large number of people directly and indirectly associated with farming and food production may benefit from a clear understanding of why they feel trapped in an increasingly complex system that should be and used to be relatively easy. I’m hoping a relatively jargon-free and non-technical book will help.