would we starve if we transitioned back to sustainable agriculture and abandoned the chemicals we've come to accept as a normal part of farming? No, not at all. Multiple studies, including work by the US National Research Council and a 23-year study by the Rodale Institute, found total food output from "alternative" farms to be equivalent to Green Revolution farms—and sometimes higher.
Cuba provides a real-life, working model to test the conclusions of such research. When the US trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in the late 1980s, the country's access to Green Revolution "inputs" was suddenly severely restricted. Cuba began to reorient its agriculture back to sustainable approaches based on traditional farming practices and smaller farming operations. Within a decade, the country had solved its food problem, with the added benefit of freeing itself from the cost and toxic pollution associated with imported farming chemicals.