Thursday, April 23, 2009

We hear over and over again that industrial agriculture is the only way to feed the growing global population and end world hunger. What's the truth?

There is no shortage of food:

...enough food is grown worldwide to provide 4.3 pounds of food per person per day, which would include two and a half pounds of grain, beans, and nuts, a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk, and eggs.
Why do 800 million people go hungry every day?
Industrial system has ... [forced] subsistence peasants off the land, so that it can be used for growing high priced export crops. ... the new 'landless' then flock to the newly industrialized cities where they quickly become a class of urban poor ... Their access to food is solely by purchase. Very often, they simply do not have enough money to buy food, so they starve.
Global corporations favor luxury, high-profit items:
As export crops and livestock use up available land, small farmers are forced to use marginal, less fertile lands. Staple food production for local use plummets, and hunger increases. ... during industrial agriculture's prime years (1970-90) the number of hungry people in every country except China actually increased by more than 11 percent.
What's the solution?
We need a major shift in efforts to feed the world, where the focus is on supporting local agriculture, where people live close to (or on) land, grow food to feed their own communities, and use ecologically sustainable techniques. In other words, hunger can only be solved by an agricultural system that promotes food independence.
- pg 50-51, Fatal Harvest.



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