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Author Topic: The Global Food Crisis  (Read 3700 times)

Offline Phanatic

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The Global Food Crisis
« on: May 29, 2008, 11:57:22 AM »
I have the BBC giving my browser updates via an RSS feed, as I do this site, and I can't help but notice the amount of food crisis articles.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7340214.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7361945.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7425078.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7284196.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7426054.stm

No doubt you guys have been noticing the price hikes? I don't think the issues behind this (peak oil and "Industrial Agriculture") are likely to be resolved any time soon.

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: The Global Food Crisis
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 05:33:56 PM »
Yep, i've certainly been noticing the increase in food prices, as well as the anti-competition tricks being played out by the major supermarkets.

The problem is not a lack of food, we could feed the world many times over quite easily.... it's just that we choose not to  >:(
"Be true to your biology"

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: The Global Food Crisis
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 07:36:03 PM »
Distribution is the problem. We have the food, but we can't get it to market.

And there are alot of places that refuse to except foreign aid. Just look a the crisis in Bhurma. Or the warlords in Africa stealing the food sent there.

The U.S. alone, between the govt. and private citizens, spends over 50 billion dollars a year on foreign aid and it's still not enough.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Re: The Global Food Crisis
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 08:26:29 PM »
Self-sustainability will make all the difference between those who do not survive, those who barely survive, and those who thrive during the coming food crisis.  Praying that the government--or, more laughably, a huge, mega-producing, food-growing corporation--will feed you will prove less effective than a rain dance.  Sadly, starvation is one of nature's ways of stabilizing population, and the human population has vastly exceeded its carrying capacity in many places around the globe.  Easy to say from a distance, nearly impossible to mean when looking into the eyes of a hungry child.  What we need is for the products of huge, single-crop food producers to be more equally and fairly distributed throughout the world, and for individuals, families, neighborhoods, towns, and cities to realize their duty to produce what they can for themselves.

For people who live in urban areas, this will mean cooperative food production spanning neighborhoods--or even entire cities--requiring utilization of the vast spaces presently wasted by growing lawns.  Just think how much food could be produced in the spaces (and with the resources) people devote to growing grass in front of their homes!  Imagine a typical, suburban neighborhood in which the Joneses grow the tomatoes, and the Smiths grow the beans, and the Adamses grow the corn... Imagine an entire town or city built around the concept of cooperative food growing!

Also, rooftop gardens are becoming extremely popular in some of America's largest cities.  If I remember the number correctly, something on the order of 15 million square feet of rooftops in Chicago are currently being utilized to produce food!  The states of Wisconsin and Minnesota recently passed laws making it again legal for city-dwellers to raise chickens in their homes.

For people who live in rural areas, the challenges will be different, but need not be so daunting.

Thanks in large part to my father's real estate-related foresight 40+ years ago, and his generosity a few years ago in giving me the farm I grew up on, I am not worried about being able to provide plenty of wholesome food for my family.  My parents still live in their home there, and I, my wife, our four children, and my wife's parents are in the final stages of moving out to the farm, ourselves.  Two, 1-year-old beef steers are scheduled for butchering early next week.  We've still got pork in the freezer that was raised and butchered last year.  A few laying hens provide our "multi-generational" family with 6-8 fresh eggs a day.  We're planning on raising 40 or 50 meat chickens this summer, too.  In late June or early July, we'll put two more piglets in the pen, to be butchered in late October.  A new garden will be planted within the next few weeks, and we'll be breaking ground for an orchard then, as well.  The months of October, November, and December will, as always, bring several white-tailed deer to the table.  Rabbits, squirrels, fish, grouse, turkies, etc. also add a bit of variety to the ol' soup pot.  A goat for milk is also being considered, but is probably a year or so in the future.

Yes, it is very possible to live a self-sustainable lifestyle in this world-gone-crazy.  It's a lot of work, but it's the kind of work that you know is meaningful as you're doing it.  You don't regret one drop of sweat, one blister, one minute of freezing in a deer stand, when you know it's to provide good food for the ones you love.

Whether a person lives in an urban or a rural locale, I urge everyone to learn how to produce food in the space and with the resources available to them.  I think the author Ferenc Mate said it best in his book, A Reasonable Life.  To paraphrase, "When the last investment banker lies dead of starvation in front of an empty deli, you can be happily working away in your garden."

Nature's balance never intended for vast numbers of people to consume food and resources which they had no hand in producing.  Self-sustainability, to the best of one's ability, is not, in my opinion, a matter of preference.  It is a duty, an obligation shared by every living thing.  If all you do is take, take, take, and produce nothing yourself, you are aberration in nature.  Do I expect every individual to produce every thing he or she needs in life?  No way!  But do produce something you use, rather than letting someone else do it for you.  It feels great, and often leads to a desire to produce another thing yourself, and another, and another... and it all adds up.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 08:50:52 PM by Tony Bondioli »
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

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Offline Matt Emery

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Re: The Global Food Crisis
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 07:05:35 PM »
Imagine an entire town or city built around the concept of cooperative food growing!

That would be wonderful... I remember reading (can't remember the source, but it was authoritative) that 2%-5% of the world's population produce about 90% of the world's food.

Yes, it is very possible to live a self-sustainable lifestyle in this world-gone-crazy.  It's a lot of work, but it's the kind of work that you know is meaningful as you're doing it.  You don't regret one drop of sweat, one blister, one minute of freezing in a deer stand, when you know it's to provide good food for the ones you love.

Well said.

Excellent post Tony, thanks for sharing.  All the best for the farm too, it sounds exciting!

"Be true to your biology"