I'm currently burning through Colin Tudge's book Feeding People is Easy. I'm really appreciating how solutions oriented the book is. (An article of his in the journal Public Health Nutrition is available as a pdf here.) But in the meantime, he pretty well summed up my feelings with this passage:
But never in all history have the powers-that-be had the wherewithal to operate on the global scale as they do now. Never have they been able, as now, to take the whole of world farming by the scruff of its neck and ram it so procrusteanly into a structure and philosophy that are so alien to its purpose, and so at odds with the needs of humanity and the biological and physical constraints of the world. The powers-that-be behave as if they were playing a game--which indeed they are: a game of money and power. They are forever lecturing protestors like me about the need to be "realistic"; but the only reality they recognize is the political-economic, commercial-military power game that they happen to be engaged in, and which makes them rich. They have no feel at all for the physical realities of the world itself, and the creatures within it, and for the ways in which farming has, in reality, been practiced this past ten thousand years, and by whom. They have a great deal of "data", which they collect and publish selectively and manipulate with the aid of lawyers and other rhetoricians this way and that, largely for our bamboozlement, but that is not the same thing at all. The world is suffering, possibly terminally, from a huge irony: that the powers-that-be live in a fantasy world of their own devising, blind to every observation that is in any way inconvenient, yet they believe that they really do know what they are doing, and that they alone are the realists. We are dying of their illusions."...take the whole of world farming by the scruff of its neck and ram it so procrusteanly into a structure and philosophy that are so alien to its purpose...." That just sums up our approach to the natural world. The difficulty is, Gaia will fight back. Contrary to popular belief, it is we who must adapt or die.