Continuing Conversation... Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis
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Greg Page on Food, Agriculture... Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the P...

Greg Page, former CEO of Cargill spoke with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what it's like to run a global food company and issues affecting world food markets.

Here's your chance to test your knowledge and share your answers to questions from this week's conversation.

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Check Your Knowledge:

1. In stressing the interdependent nature of "food security," Page utilizes the concept of comparative advantage. What does comparative advantage mean, and how does it apply to food security?

2. When weather affects the supply of food in crucial producing countries, how do prices help maintain the world supply of food?


Going Deeper:

3. When Roberts asks Page how he feels about the local food movement, he replies that it depends how you measure it. What does he mean? Do you think he is employing the right standards to judge this movement? What are your thoughts on the efficacy of the local food movement?

To what extent should the world rely on genetically modified foods?

4. When the two discuss GMOs, Page asserts that there exist other ways to feed the planet, but that GMOs ought to be relied upon. What reasons does he give for his position? To what extent are you persuaded by them?


Extra Credit:

5. Page argues that government assistance in the form of insurance is a crucial source of stability of the world food supply. Do you agree? What evidence might help assess whether Page is right?

Comments and Sharing



TWITTER: Follow Russ Roberts @EconTalker


COMMENTS (5 to date)
David L. Kendall writes:

Russ, your interview with Greg Page was fabulous!

Not only did we get great insight into the world of being a CEO for a large, international corporation, we also got an interview that we college professors can use in the classroom to bring to life the lived-world application of economic principles. Excellent!

Amy Willis writes:

@David, Thanks! We LOVE to hear that EconTalk is being used in classrooms...We hope you find these Extras helpful, and if you have any other suggestions, we're all ears!

Jim Lambert writes:

Excellent topic with Greg Page. You need to do more commodity and agricultural topics considering just how much this "asset class" drives the world economy. Therefore, I'm recommending you follow up on the link below I'm including with respect to the world's cotton trade. Enjoy.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/empire-of-cotton/383660/

Dennis Mudd writes:

I enjoyed this podcast, but I noticed that when Mr. Page spoke about the Farm Bill and defended current subsidies he presented it in terms of a safety net that is needed to protect against a poor year. More than once he painted the picture of the farmer sitting at the kitchen table planning out his year. I think most people can see the need for a safety net for the small farmer. But does a multi-billion dollar company need tax subsidies to protect them against a poor corn crop? It is my understanding Cargill gets the same subsidy program benefits as the small farmer. It would have been interesting to hear Mr. Page get specific about why his company needs help.

Rich Bustamante writes:

It was great having the Greg Page and Nasim Taleb podcasts back-to-back so as to get two completely different perspectives on GMOs.

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