January 22, 2010

Feeding the World

You here it over and over and over again. Here, for example:

From [Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant's] point of view, the company is working on the side of angels, helping to create commodity crops to feed today’s population and the 2 billion more people who might occupy the planet by 2030.

This argument, simply put, is crap. Because here -- via Josh Viertel, who heads up Slow Food USA, quoting Eric Holt Gimenez of Food First -- is the reality.

"In 2008 more food was grown than ever before in history. In 2008 more people were obese than ever before in history. In 2008 more profit was made by food companies than ever before in history. And in 2008 more people went hungry than ever before in history."

Then Viertel piles on, so to speak:

Hunger is not a global production problem. It is a global justice problem. We need to increase global equity, not global yields. There may be profit to be made in exporting our high-tech, input-reliant, greenhouse-gas-emitting agricultural systems to the developing world. But let us not pretend it will solve global hunger or address climate change. After all, high-tech, input-reliant, commodity agricultural is a major cause of global hunger and climate change.

In the U.S. alone we throw out more food each year than some third-world countries consume. Helping those countries develop sustainable agriculture systems will go much further toward feeding the world than planting more genetically modified crops in every nook of the planet.

Just ask all of those dead farmers in India.

No comments: