Category: Food Shortages

Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class – Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. One of many ‘Hoovervilles’ during the Great Depression 1. Introduction How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal with a lifestyle of radical simplicity? By radical simplicity I essentially mean a very low but biophysically sufficient material standard of living, a form of […]

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Full Planet, Empty Plates – The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Editor’s Note: It’s a pity this article is devoid of real holistic solutions, but I put it up as the data is important to know and appreciate. by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute “The U.S. Great Drought of 2012 has raised corn prices to the highest level in history. The world price of food, which has already doubled over the last decade, is slated to climb higher, ushering in […]

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“GM Crops Cannot Be the Answer,” say scientists

The evidence favors ecological approaches New Delhi, September 24 2012: World renowned scientists, addressing a media briefing here, asserted that India’s lack of food and nutrition security is not just a technological problem. However, the solution will require both social and technological changes, they said. The scientists recommended a holistic paradigm emphasizing ecological farming, supported by conventional breeding to make optimum use of local knowledge and natural resources.

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Darwin’s Nightmare (Video)

Some time back, in the 1960s, someone had the brilliant idea to introduce Nile Perch into Lake Victoria. The voracious predator soon went to work eating everything, until there was not much left in the entire lake but Nile Perch and crocodiles. But there’s always an upside to these things, isn’t there? According to Wikipedia, "The fish’s introduction to Lake Victoria, while ecologically negative, has stimulated the establishment of large […]

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Why are the FAO and the EBRD Promoting the Destruction of Peasant and Family Farming?

Editor’s Note: It is intensely infuriating when people in suits make wholly inaccurate, ignorant statements about incredibly important issues, and due to their position get it published in the mainstream media, where far too many people take it at face value. The rapid conversion of the world from small-scale, diverse ecological farming systems towards factory-floor agribusinesses is causing untold woes, and yet the ‘solution’ to the multiple crises born of […]

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Localising Food Tour of NZ – Revitalising Communities Through Local Food Abundance

The issue of food resilience has been discussed often in permaculture circles. We talk about the need for not just sustainable but regenerative agriculture, cultures that are permanent and communities that work together to achieve some form of network that can sustain life through a food crisis or major event. Christchurch, New Zealand, among other global locations, has had one of those events. It is through the rebuilding of these […]

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Heat and Drought Ravage U.S. Crop Prospects – Global Stocks Suffer

by Janet Larson, Earth Policy Institute September estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show 2012 U.S. corn yields at 123 bushels per acre, down by a fourth from the 2009 high of 165 bushels per acre. Yields are the lowest since 1995 and well below the average of the last 30 years. The summer heat and drought also hit U.S. soybean yields, which are down 20 percent from […]

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Grant Opportunity to Bring Permaculture Solutions to Women Farmers in the South

Sri Lankan household Photo © Craig Mackintosh The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has, of course, a lot of resources at its disposal. Unfortunately it’s been shown that those resources have not always been utilised in ways that actually assist the people they purport to want to help. I’d like to believe that this disconnect is just due to ecological ineptitude, rather than impure motives, but it’s impossible for me […]

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The 2012 Farm Bill and Agricultural Subsidies: Corporate Welfare for Farmers

This video from ReasonTV covers ground we’ve covered before many times, but since little to nothing has changed on this front, we must necessarily persevere in getting the message across any way we can. Essentially, we need to stop incentivising ecological madness, waste, disease, and inequality through public subsidising of the largest agricultural criminals. Current agricultural subsidies in the U.S. mean that agribusinesses are selling ‘food’ (in inverted commas, as […]

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Vandana Shiva and Geoff Lawton Talk Together About Freeing the Seed

Regular readers will know we are doing what we can to support Vandana Shiva‘s "Occupy the Seed" campaign, running between 2 — 16 October, 2012. This worthy "Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action" is a call to respect and liberate the world’s seeds and to maximise their diversity — their being the very basis of our existence, and an absolute wonder of biological ‘magic’ in their own right. On Wednesday September […]

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Making the Case for the Genetically Modified Human

If we fail to change trajectory, then perhaps we should be re-engineering the root cause of our problem — ourselves? It’s true that I’m well known for attacking the GMO industry, its industry financed scientists and their thus-incentivised reductionist ‘science’. I’ve expressed many times that GMOs are a "solution looking for a problem". We know that GMOs are really only a bid to deal with symptoms of agricultural mismanagement, so […]

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“Civilisation Needs to Change Its Intent” – Interview with John D. Liu

Although recorded back in May, for International Permaculture Day (see here and here), I found out about the interview below only yesterday. In the interview, PRI PDC Teacher, Rhamis Kent, talks to renowned environmental filmmaker, John D. Liu, whose fantastic work we’ve featured on this site multiple times (here, here, here and here for example). John covers a lot of ground in the 90-minute discussion, sharing, amongst many other things, […]

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