Category: Food Shortages

Global Grain Stocks Drop Dangerously Low as 2012 Consumption Exceeded Production

by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute The world produced 2,241 million tons of grain in 2012, down 75 million tons or 3 percent from the 2011 record harvest. The drop was largely because of droughts that devastated several major crops—namely corn in the United States (the world’s largest crop) and wheat in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Australia. Each of these countries also is an important exporter. Global grain consumption fell […]

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Field Notes From Amazonia

by Noah Sabich, Eco-Ola The placement of your feet on the wooden boards is essential; frequent use and infrequent maintenance have rendered the steep stairwell a treacherous walkway down to the docks. This is the port of Iquitos, Peru. It is a central location that gives access to the tributaries of the Amazon River. Its odor betrays its neglect. Interfluvial commerce and a growing population in the city of Iquitos […]

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China’s Rising Soybean Consumption Reshaping Western Agriculture

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Where was once pristine Amazon rainforest, soybean harvesters march across the landscape instead Global demand for soybeans has soared in recent decades, with China leading the race. Nearly 60 percent of all soybeans entering international trade today go to China, making it far and away the world’s largest importer. The soybean was domesticated some 3,000 years ago by farmers in eastern China. But […]

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Food MythBusters – Do We Really Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World? (video)

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Further Reading: A Farm for the Future (BBC video) The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report Biodiverse Systems are More Productive The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide Orchestrating Famine – a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels The Looming Food Crisis and the ‘Food 2030′ Report The Story of Soil A […]

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Local Spotlight: But Don’t We Need Economic Growth to Lift the Poor Out of Poverty? (Ghana)

This article was originally published on the Post Growth Institute Website. Farmers planting nitrogen fixing trees on their farms As a group challenging the growth paradigm, one of the most common questions that we hear is, ‘But don’t we need economic growth to lift the poor out of poverty?’. While growth has been successful to this end in certain ways, there are also some unwelcome consequences of growth. We prefer […]

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Permaculture Forest Garden, Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria

Since 2011 the Adunni Susanne Wenger Foundation in Nigeria, in Cooperation with the German NGO SONED Brandenburg e.V., built up the Environmental Education Centre called Permaculture Forest Garden at Gberefu Island, in Badagry, Lagos State. Beside the sustainability of the local environment, the project’s focus is on health care, food security, nonviolent communication and the support of democratic processes. Permaculture Forest Garden is supported by the German Federal Ministry for […]

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Expanding Dust Bowls Worsening Food Prospects in China and Africa

by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute Encroaching Gobi desert When most people hear the term “dust bowl,” they think of the American heartland in the 1930s, when a homesteading wheat bonanza led to the plowing up of the Great Plains’ native grassland, culminating in the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Despite warnings from researchers and some farmers, history repeated itself in the Soviet Virgin Lands Project in the 1950s […]

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Line in the Sand (Video)

We often only begin to understand the importance of nutrient- and water-cycling when they don’t — when they don’t cycle, that is. When ecosystems fail, when the hydrological cycle gets broken, when soils degrade faster than they build, the consequence is desertification. Already a full 25% of the planet’s land surface area (about 3.6 billion hectares) is desertified, and, worldwide, we’re adding to this enormous figure at a rate of […]

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Flow – For the Love of Water (Documentary)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zmWdco0glEA As permaculturists, we have a great many solutions for the water crisis. From water harvesting to reed bed grey water systems, to watershed rehabilitation, there are common sense approaches to holistically restore eco-system services, rehydrate our landscapes and stabilise water flows and the climate. In the video above, however, we come face to face with forces that can undo the work of thousands of enthusiastic permaculturists with a few […]

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The Edible City

I believe that we will need to produce food in our urban centres, because I can’t figure out how else we are going to meet an increased demand from our cities. With over 50% of the world’s population living in them, currently relying on an unsustainable agricultural system to deliver all the nourishment they need, it’s not hard to understand that something will need to change. In order to meet […]

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