Category Archives: Food Shortages

Home (Video)

‘Home’ trailer (watch the full documentary here)
Also available in Arabic, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

This documentary, ‘Home‘, is almost perfect.

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Also posted in Deforestation, Energy, Global Warming, Pollution, Water

The Peasants Are Revolting

What are governments to do when an economic crisis hits, causing an already disproportionate number of poverty-stricken people to massively enlarge their ranks – to the point where they take to the streets to protest over their lack of basic necessities? Well, they repress and kill them of course.

For a brief period yesterday, this article appeared on the main page of the BBC. It’s gone today, replaced with more important articles like ‘What the way you hold a glass says about your personality‘. After you’ve figured out who you are by the way you hold your cocktail, perhaps take a little time to read the former link – where you can read a BBC summary of the latest of Amnesty International’s annual reports (the 424 page document you can download below) on human rights abuses worldwide. It makes for sobering reading. The situation is being described as a ‘powder keg’ and ‘time bomb’ that threatens security worldwide.

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics, Society

The Food Crisis Spurs Gene Patenting Race

Big Biotech is gearing up to substantially increase their market share in the face of a global food and climate crisis — in hopes of cashing in on desperation. The patenting office has never been so busy.

Do you remember the pulitzer prize-winning photo that shocked the world back in 1994? You know, that macabre shot of an emaciated child struggling hopelessly towards a feeding station a kilometre away, with a vulture waiting patiently, and wistfully, behind. With that single image, the photographer, Kevin Carter, brought the Sudan famine into stark relief for an astonished public.

Well-framed images can evoke sympathy and outrage, so I am thus left almost desperately wondering how to frame what I see happening with the current international food crisis — as sympathy and outrage are needed now like never before.

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Also posted in Diversity, GMOs, Pollution

India Suicides: I Want My Father Back

I’ve made mention of the social and environmental costs of monocultures and genetically modified crops often. Amongst these has been many mentions of a humanitarian disaster occuring on a daily basis in India, where thousands of farmers have been committing suicide as a result of failed harvests — the failed harvests being the result of failed promises from the likes of Monsanto. The following documentary, produced in India, by Indians, paints the clearest picture of this situation that I’ve yet seen. In addition, the documentary compares the failure of those sucked into input-intensive industrialised agriculture with the success of those who have reverted to organic methods.

Also posted in GMOs, Health, Pollution, Society

Colony Collapse Disorder – a Moment for Reflection

Preamble: The issue of massive bee die-offs was hot in the mainstream media news last year, but now it seems they’ve moved on to more ‘interesting’ things…. Despite the lack of recent coverage, this extremely serious issue is not going away. About a year and a half ago I posted the article below to another website, and since the content of the post is still very relevant, and as it attracted a lot of attention at the time (before the administrators lost them all through website adjustments, it had attracted more than 200 comments – from beekeepers, scientists, gardeners and other interested people), I thought I’d post it again here to bring some attention back to this subject. The beautiful thing about Permaculture is it is completely holistic in nature. Industry and reductionist science tend to look at things in isolation, thus never seeing the bigger picture. The article below is an attempt to join the dots. Unless we take a broad view of the impacts of our industrial systems, we will never find solutions to such potentially cataclysmic problems as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Our previous posts on the mysterious bee disappearances have been a very interesting exercise. We’ve had great feedback from farmers, amateur and professional beekeepers, scientists, and dozens of other interested/concerned observers. In the meantime, accumulating reports tell us that the problem is not constrained to the U.S. alone – but that, to one degree or another, empty hives are becoming common in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, and now the UK.

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Also posted in Diversity, Global Warming, GMOs, Pollution

Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels

It’s time to pull the world back
from the brink — we can do it!

We live in interesting times, don’t we? We’re currently witnessing a convergence of problems that threaten life as we know it, not to mention our sanity. I say our sanity, as sometimes it can feel that the societal changes needed are on such a scale, and our embedded infrastructure is so established and inflexible, that we can feel like a helpless, captive audience — just along for the roller coaster ride (where the roller coaster is being maintained by a crew focused only on short-term gain…). Those of us with children fear for their future. Indeed, we wonder what life will be like for ourselves over the coming few years, let alone the next couple of decades.

But at the same time as we’re having apocalyptic visions, we’re also seeing a heightened awareness of, and desire for, solutions, and an eagerness and sense of urgency to implement them.
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Also posted in Energy, Global Warming, GMOs, Society

Food Miles, or ‘Fair Miles’

When you make your purchases, are you struggling over the decision to ‘shop local’ or ‘support the poor in distant lands’? If so, read this.

I had been meaning to make a post on the subject of ‘Food Miles, or Fair Miles’, and finding this article from Reuters provided an ideal vehicle to do so. Please consider the following:

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Also posted in Consumerism, Geopolitics & Economics

Global Warming, Hitler and World War II Rationing

Peer pressure, national pride, and
legal mandates worked together
against the common evil

It’s an unusual title, I know – but bear with me.

If you were to personify global warming, to literally morph it into some kind of effigy – something you could tie to a stake in the town square, and throw cabbages, or rocks at – what would the guy look like?

I guess the degree of grotesquery in your visualisation would largely depend on where in the world you live, and to what extent this ‘person’ has adversely influenced your life, although in some ways it could be easy to conjure an image of one of last century’s most notorious, infamous villains – Adolf Hitler. Couldn’t it?

If you think back over the last few hundred years, when was the last time the world was really united against a universal and common enemy? There have been dozens of major wars, and hundreds of ‘spats’, but WWII stands out as a conspicuous juncture in history when even the most contrary elements, like the capitalist, democratic USA and communist, totalitarian USSR, put their differences aside and worked to a common end.

A quote from Winston Churchill captures the moment well:

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Also posted in Consumerism, Global Warming, Society

The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide

A recently released study, the largest of its kind, examines the root causes of, and solutions for, a food crisis that will likely get much worse before it gets better — and that will never get better if we continue with business as usual

I’m hungry.

No, not because I don’t have enough food to eat, but because I’m too busy typing and too lazy to walk to the refrigerator. How I wish it were this simple for the people I keep reading about.

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics