Even a brief perusal of news headlines, magazine articles, academic databases, etc. will tell you that food has moved to the forefront of many social and theoretical conversations. The local and organic food movements have also gained a foothold -- it seems the "alternative" label less often prefixes them now than in years past. However much headway these ideas have made in mainstream consciousness, they still are not the norm, and, according to an article in Mother Jones, they still are not the answer to the impending and current food crisis.
Paul Roberts' article "Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008" discusses the sustainability of the corporate and alternative food industries, arguing that a much more complex definition of sustainable food economies needs to supplant the current understanding -- one that covers not only organic and local, but also affordability, nutrition, and fair production. By one calculation, only 2% of the food produced today would fall into this category.
Roberts discusses many interesting options: the use of "seed predators" to reduce the need for pesticides, vertical farming, urban polyculture systems, grocery store rooftop farms, and more.
Read the entire article here.