almost 2 years ago

April 17, 2008

I wrote this

a number of people have been talking about these subjects quite a bit, recently.

If you’ve not been paying attention to the world:

1. there are food riots all over the developing world

2. Food prices are spiking world-wide.

3. Biofuels (especially corn-based ethanol) are exacerbating the problem.

I know it may seem like this is happening ‘over there’ wherever ‘there’ is for you but be aware that problems ‘over there’ have a way of visiting everyone.

Two years ago 12% of the population of the United States was Food Insecure – that means they did not know if they were going to have enough calories on any given day. The price of food staples has spiked an average of 50%. That 12% (which,  btw means 37 MILLION people in the US, alone) has not seen their situation improve, I’d wager. I wonder how much that number has changed by?

If you live in a rural/suburban area – think about growing some of your own food. It’s really quite straightforward and a good skill to have.

If you live in an urban area, get involved or start a community garden. Every little bit can help.


8 Responses to “almost 2 years ago”

  1. jef Says:

    The best part is… as global warming really gets going.. I’ll be able to have really awesome growing season. When the bread basket of America is burnt out from an over heated summer and a lack of water resources to adequately irrigate the land and cool their nuclear power plants… I’ll have a reasonably good chance at growing peaches. Go global warming! Go!

    -jef”I discovered egg battered beef this evening at a Hawaiian restaurant….and it was awesome”spaleta

  2. wade vidal Says:

    every one needs to be talking about this , none of the pres. canidates are , they don’t go to the local grocery store with a list and maybe not enough money to buy every thing on the list so they don’t have to make choices. wake up people !! pater

  3. Your post impelled me to write a post about food prices over at advogato.

    Other things that make the crisis worse are: poor credit facilities in the developing world, understandable-but-bad actions by countries such as Brazil to shore up their own food security by forbidding exports, which drive up food prices for countries that depend on imports, rising oil prices driven up in part by everyone’s favourite imperial adventure, …

  4. Russell Says:

    Don’t listen to the Alaskan! I think he’s just trying to get warm up there. :-p

    I think you must have heard the same report on NPR I did on the way to work this morning. 😉

    One of the most distressing things about this situation is the simple fact that we are subsidizing farmers to not grow crops that had at one time been grown on the same lands. At the same time our government has been offering further subsidies for using our agricultural products as fuels. If instead we had converted the subsidies not currently in production we would have been bringing land back into production while saving tax payer dollars. Instead we created new subsidies taking existing production out of the produce market and adding more government spending. 😦

    To add to your point about growing a garden. Not only will people be helping the situation in general they’ll be getting food that is both better for them and better tasting. I grew up on a tree and cattle farm in Virginia and there is nothing better than an morning walk to pick a few ears of silver queen corn to bing home for breakfast. Store bought corn is so, meh, after having the good stuff.

  5. I realize that various plant based ethanol’s are driving up prices.. but the majority of the price is coming from 100+ dollar oil. That oil is used for transportation, fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides, blah blah blah. Even if you go completely organic the costs of lost crops pretty much blanket out the decreased fuel use.

    A school here went and did a study if they went to wheat instead of corn. The problem came out that you could grow a lot of ‘bread’ but it would be too expensive to sell… the cost of growing/harvesting/etc is so high that using the land for food is a money loser (even with a ‘deflated’ dollar it is still too expensive to sell wheat to mexico and canada let alone Mozambique or Bangledash).

    The bigger elephant in the room is that we have too many humans and we have really cut down on the things that used to keep us in check: war, famine, and disease. Sure there are lots of people hungry, sick, and dieing in wars but percentage wise it is 1/10th of what it was 100 years ago.. and supposedly 1/1000th of what it was 1000 years ago. So we have much much more people than we can really keep going, but who gets chosen for Carousel? And who is up for Soylent Green?

  6. […] 22, 2008 I just said the same thing – but Michael Pollan, of course, said it much better. Posted by skvidal Filed in […]

  7. Stalker Says:

    Yes that is true but think of it more like this. Being an American is more of a way of life. Hotdogs and apple pie right? And lately the chinese and japanese as well as little india and even russia in some respect have started to grow on the whole freedom of personal choice and capitalistic economy. But that doesn’t mean we should just all pop birth control and take our population out of the race. Yes we have much waste in America but I still believe we are the most effecent and eviramentaly friendly. In short forget about a booming global population because where it counts is in “our” population. Its only through teaching future generations can our ideals stay alive. All that and if the economy goes than its all for nothing anyways. 😦

  8. Mace Moneta Says:

    Just a suggestion… Before you start growing your own food, have your soil tested for safety. Runoff from suburban lawns (pesticides, insecticides) are not intended for use with food crops.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: