Question of the Week: What Are Sustainable Ways To Advance Food Security?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 17, 2010
Farmers Separate Wheat From Husk in India

Secretary Clinton said, "More than one billion people -- one sixth of the world's population -- suffer from chronic hunger." Ensuring global food security will only become more challenging in the future, as the demand for food is projected to increase by 50 percent over the next 20 years.

What are sustainable ways to advance food security?

Comments

Comments

Pamela G.
|
West Virginia, USA
May 17, 2010

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:

The support of the American farmer is imperative we must preserve the world's breadbasket while helping others learn to self sustain.

BethMarkley
|
United States
May 18, 2010

Beth M. in USA writes:

Permaculture!

sabrina s.
|
Oregon, USA
May 18, 2010

Sabrina S. in Oregon writes:

In the wake of the many recent calls for sustainable and local agriculture, I would like to bring the issue of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) to the fore, in our local dialogue. Ultimately there is no such thing as sustainability if what is grown and consumed is genetically modified. There are several significant peer-reviewed studies (those not paid for by Monsanto and including warnings from the FDA's own scientists ) that reveal great danger to animals, humans, and the environment. These include death, sterility (fourth generation cows give birth to empty water sacs), organ damage, resistance to antibiotics, genetic mutation, polluted soil and water, death of the pollinators (the bees are disappearing in an alarming rate). All do to the highly unnatural and invasive procedure of shooting bacterial (and other) genes (engineered to produce bt toxin in every cell of the plant and/or resist the very poisonous glyphosate in round up) into the DNA of corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, papaya, cotton, etc..

Proponents of GM crops said that they would feed the hungry, but even countries with starving peoples will not accept the dangerous poison food in the form of "aid" and we are eating them everyday for years! In the U.S., where genetically modified food is eaten daily by virtually everyone (95% of soy, sugar, and canola, 85% of corn) there is little to no dialogue regarding the fact that public is not aware of the EXISTENCE of GMOs, let alone the health and environmental dangers they present. In Europe, Australia, Japan, sufficient media coverage has helped to educate the public, who has rallied to ban GMO products or at least require labeling.

So I am asking that we act now; look at the gravity of this situation and educate ourselves and others, protect the children and the environment from GMO contaminants. There are many significant political and legal issues right now regarding GMOs, on local and international levels. We must actively voice our opposition and demand that changes be made before it is too late.

I ask that our local food venues, such as grocery stores, health food stores, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, etc, PROTECT THE PUBLIC by taking the necessary measures to exclude ingredients containing GMOs in the foods that they carry and prepare for the public. This might take a bit of effort but it is what must be done. This is what is done in countries where there are bans on GMOs, so it is quite doable! In turn we will support, deeply appreciate and feel safe with those venues (who have the integrity and heart not to poison the public and not to be complicit with the greed and great irresponsibility of the biotech industry).

Even if one remains a skeptic on the issue, there is still the wisdom of the use of "the precautionary principle," which "states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those who advocate taking the action.

This principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is evidence of potential harm in the absence of complete scientific proof. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk." (Wikipedia) This is, at the very least, what our FDA and USDA should be carrying out, but they are made up of significant number of members of Monsanto/ the biotech industry pushing this gm nightmare.

OysterCracker
|
United States
May 18, 2010

O.C. in USA writes:

Give away non GMO seeds, dirt and fertilizer at food banks for poor, Hawaiian, rural families so they can start their own gardens. Get more trade between Pacific partners. Hawaiians are really suffering because life on the islands is too expensive for poor families. It's embarrassing that a wealthy country like ours has hungry children. It's unconcionable, unforgivable.

OysterCracker
|
United States
May 18, 2010

O.C. in USA writes:

Get rid of processed food lunches at schools. Insist on whole grains, organic vegetables. If food was presented beautifully (like a Whole Foods Bar) to children in small portions that they could pick and choose from, they would enjoy it more. You can also educate them at the same time. The lack of creativity among lunch ladies in school cafeterias is mind boggling. Our children need real food not processed, wannabee indistinguishable whatever.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 18, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I agree Pamela, the biggest hang-up is if there weren't so much conflict in the world we wouldn't need to be its breadbasket as there would be some 191 of them, all doing their thing. So in essence, to sustain the positive you gotta address the negative distractions that deplete resources, manpower, and habitat that would otherwise be sustainable naturally.

The breakdown of local societies and infrastructure is the biggest threat sustainable agriculture faces in real-time. The other is desertification, but at a slower pace. There's no getting around this to get where the world needs to be by 2030 in order to avoid severe food shortages on a regular basis, and the further erosion of social structure that would cause. So we have a finite amount of time, give or take a decade before the world's population exceeds agriculture's ability to sustain it given current trends. With or without climate change factored in. So what this question of the week really entails in context is all about humanity getting a grip on itself, getting over itself, and getting on with the program.

How many civilizations have crumbled to dust because they couldn't feed the people? I look at the emphasis placed on restoring Afghanistan's agricultural capacity and in the middle of conflict no less and the truth becomes self evident that success depends on ending the conflict.

Can the international community afford the whims of dictators that would rather build nukes than feed their people? No more than it can afford a nuclear war, and that would be the ultimate distraction to take folks permanently off the path we all need to be on.

If the definition of a super-power was in the ability to feed other nations, then we need to create equality among nations. I'd like to see a "multi-polar" world based on that. Rather than petty differences born of political ego and ideological agenda. Attitude is everything.

Cathleen
|
Pennsylvania, USA
May 18, 2010

Cathleen in Pennsylvania writes:

The fastest route to 'Food Security' is to ban genetically modified Frankenfood produced by some of governments biggest donors, Monsanto & ADM.

Charles
|
United Kingdom
May 18, 2010

Charles in the United Kingdom writes:

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.”

“But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.

“It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"

Kathy
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 18, 2010

Kathy in Washington, DC writes:

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was conducted by over 400 scientists from more than 80 countries over a 4 year period. It was sponsored by 5 UN agencies, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. The IAASTD supports a radical change in practice and policy for food provision in order to address the key issues of eradicating hunger, poverty and social inequity and ensuring environmental sustainability. Food provision must be aimed at both environmental and sustainability goals especially in the context of climate change, agro-ecological farming methods are underscored as key to a more ecologcal and equitable system that places food for people (not markets and profits) at the center of policy and practice.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 18, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well put to the masses Charles, Bravo!

(chuckle) You sparked a fond memory of a Cristmas past, in which I had to inform a building contractor who hadn't payed my crew and I along with my partner for the job we completed three days before Cristmas.

"What are you having for dinner Bob?"" Turkey.""Sounds good, you don't mind if the crew bring all their families to have Cristmas dinner at your house do you?"

( that's extended family mind you).

" Uhh... Well we have guests already.""Oh great, we can party!""Kids got to sleep early...""Well Bob, I guess that means you'll have our money no later than tommorrow... right? Otherwise folks can't get their shopping done to get their own dinners together in time and I'm afraid we'll be keeping your kids up because they will have Cristmas dinner come hell or high water Bob. I can't break my word to them and niether can you."

( we got paid-end of story.)

Russell
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 19, 2010

Russell in Washington, D.C. writes:

My approach is very simple. Treat food as it really is, an essential for healthy living not a commodity. Shift the paradigm from awarding big contracts to the corporations genetically enhancing food. Instead, award those big contracts to the organic farmers who are struggling to maintain their livelihood. Now wouldn't that be a happy ending...?

Charles
|
United Kingdom
May 19, 2010

Charles in the United Kingdom writes:

Thank you for your compliments, sir.

Might I suggest for everyone's further edification on this subject "A Modest Proposal" by Mr. Jonathan Swift? It is as edifying today as it was when it was published nearly three hundred years ago.

Have a marvelous day, everyone!

palgye
|
South Korea
May 20, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Thinks that the most of the nation which starves the nation where the water is insufficient almost agrees with the area. (State of Israel thinks. the instance which is special) Thinks will solve most the problem which first drought. Will request a help in State of Israel? The price and self-supply competitive power from the grain market which the grain major governs think that there is not a nation of the most which excepts the United States and France. Solution…. First, thinks that from the nations which, starve must make the self-sufficiency economy of the food. When supplies the water and the seed, starving by their labor power, overcomes and thinks the thing which will provide a schedule partial self-supply. And, the countries where the condition which is fixed is formed the efficiency is low but solar heat and the wind power use a same new and renewable energy and thinks that must produce the food and feed.

i hope to selected SamSung≶ Samsung Electronics of Korea CCO, in order for LEE to newly build LCD factories in China JAY Y. from the political man of China, met Xi Jinping, does. Samsung by the way, the result to be selected LG Electronics is presumed as the situation which falls off.

Birgit M.
|
Germany
May 20, 2010

Birgit M. in Germany writes:

I think biodiversity and seeding organic crops instead of monocultures with genetic engineered crops are sustainable ways to advance food security. You should invite Vandana Shiva to the statedepartment instead of Monsanto lobbyists to USAid for Haiti.

palgye
|
South Korea
May 23, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

I who when am like this situation think that there is not a possibility anything of doing. Also the now there not to be any ability attended and is a situation which is difficult with reason, explains in detail, is a difficult situation. Thinks that only some people are recognizing a situation well.

China Expo?

Congratulates. When being a wasteland from, remembers with the fact that showcases. Thinks did the duty where the effort of Secretary of State is big.

now,here is knowhow.or.kr/main/main.php
but, they are just so, so.

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