Forgetting about food…

13 Apr

It took me a while to think of a title for this post that wasn’t full of doom and gloom. This is a serious situation though and we need to educate ourselves and remain actively aware.
April 12, 2008

“A swelling global population, soaring energy prices, the clamouring for
meat from the rising Asian middle class, competition from biofuels and
hot money pouring into the commodity markets are all factors that make
this crisis unique and potentially calamitous. Even with concerted
global action, such as rushing more land into cultivation, it will take”
years to fix the problem.

Full Article Here:


3 Responses to “Forgetting about food…”

  1. m. e. April 13, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t pull up the above link. Probably my problem, not yours.

    But I must say, I cannot understand how this combined fuel and food problem has suddenly come upon us. How, where and why did this happen?

    Each trip to the grocery store is a new shock. And that’s here in the U.S.

  2. mindfulindividual April 14, 2008 at 12:44 am #

    Rhe link has been fixed. thanks for spotting that!

    Regarding the fuel and food issue – well it’s something that has definitely been brewing for a while and people interested in the food supply have been watching and waiting it seems. personally, I think that the focus in the west has been so much on energy, recycling and oil and we are so accustomed to the utter abundance of food that it just hasn’t been on our radar. Even many people who are interested in food safety are generally focussed on organic vs conventional, natural vs added chemicals and pesticides. It’s often difficult to think of the big picture, especially when the government and the corporations don’t exactly make information easily available. We have to work for it.

    I am reminded of The Story of Stuff video. It is still totally relevant in this context, though I think it would be interesting to see a ‘food’ version.

  3. Mike Cohn April 18, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    I tickle or an itch felt in this country is the equivalent to a cut by a chainsaw being felt somewhere else in the world. That should not inspire guilt, fear or paralysis or overreaction, it should inspire action.

    Protests are not action if that is where all the effort is made and none at home.

    I’m not a foodie or a food specialist so I won’t comment on foods to and not to buy, but I can suggest some actions.

    Do whatever you can to learn about low hanging fruit. Not just the edible kind, but the energy kind. We already know the food and fuel issues are linked.

    The usuals still apply – driving less, driving the most efficient car, transit/bike, local products, local foods, caulking windows, cutting heat and A/C leaks and electricity use (watts come from natural gas).

    But what about beyond the choir? What about when we have bought the Prius and the EnergyStar home and the local foods?

    Click action online, show up at community meetings, DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK, motivate others positively – not with fear. People want solutions and “did you know”s not “OH MY GOD THE SKY IS GOING TO FALL IF WE DONT TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM!”

    Berkeley martyrdom and self flaggelation must stop. Mainstreaming and friendly-izing the messages must start.

    “I’m doing it for the environment” must never be uttered again. It’s not low hanging fruit. And it alienates. It’s not supposed to be a religion you blindly follow.

    “I’m doing it to save money” should be the first reason people hear. Find out how your actions save money. Then the automatic benefits that come with smart shopping and personal action attach themselves – like “pollution avoidance” and “soldiers not being killed to get this stuff” and “the environment” all at the same time, rather than at the expense of.

    This is a marketing and psychological neccessity in case you didn’t notice all the spam and counter messages telling you to “buy something, be happy, be thankful for commerce”.

    As for energy specifically, LEARN UP AND PUSH FOR PLUG-IN HYBRIDS. Bigger batteries let you go 40-60 miles on a charge – thats enough for 85% of the population do commute to work, store, baseball practice and back in a day. Recharging at night for $1 a gallon in electricity beats $3 a gallon in gas at the pump.

    Push for WIND POWER because up till now, wind’s greatest production time, at night, had nowhere for the electricity to go after a certain time – not enough businesses and activity while most people are sleeping. But with plug-ins come the best time for wind power – at night when the wind is blowing and when the sun isn’t shining on solar power.

    Push for SOLAR POWER. Not just for plug-ins, but to offset water purification, business use, home use, typing on your Apple IIe or IMB Selectric, etc. Avoiding the need to import natural gas for electricity reduces the burden and the price we all pay. They say just cutting use 5% can cut prices 30%. Also, rooftop solar is trendy and useful, but the big one is desert solar. It’s more efficient and cheaper to build and puts out more power. Do rooftop solar – you can power your own car or sell surplus for a bill credit. But PUSH FOR DESERT SOLAR (thermal electric as opposed to photovoltaic electric)

    Read HOME POWER Magazine now! As in, get your ass to Borders, sit and have a tea and read that magazine. Buy it if you like it. Read some of it online for free. But read it. There is an entire lifestyle built around sustainable home made energy that looks good and doesn’t cost a fortune.

    PUSH FOR ACTION, TAKE ACTION, don’t let fear make you feel untrendy when you demand all this. Nobody cares about you when you’re dead anyways so if it feels good to do this now, DO IT.

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