“Ideal” science plants

I was talking with a friend about the readings for this week, and he was defensive about scientific farming, saying that plants evolve in nature to survive their environment, not to be ideal for their environment – something that science is just now making possible. If that’s true, does it change the conversation at all?

I wonder if this issue is less about the health of the plants and more about scale. When I imagine even the family farmers I know reading this work I think they would find it impractical not because of their plants’ and soil’s well being but because they wouldn’t be able to produce as much without their equipment and chemicals. Do you think we would have more of a reason to be hopeful if it were the other way around?

I think the affinity for nature is common in these alternative visions. What is the place of technology if our goal is living closer to nature?