A Change We Can Believe In - Dumping Industrial Agriculture
by Jim Goodman
As 2009 approaches, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes nearly a billion people a day go hungry worldwide. While India supplies Switzerland with 80% of its wheat, 350 million Indians are food-insecure. Rice prices have nearly tripled since early 2007 because, according to The International Rice Research Institute, rice-growing land is being lost to industrialization, urbanization and shifts to grain crops for animal feed.
Yet, according to FAO statistics, world food supplies have kept pace with population growth. There is enough food to adequately feed everyone. Clearly, root causes of the food crisis lie in politics, problems with food distribution, poverty and a failure of the industrial food system to deliver its promises.
Dr. Bob Watson, chief scientist for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK, places the blame for the food price spikes on several factors; grain being shifted to animal feed, drought, increased use of grains for biofuels and speculation in food crops. While proponents assert that industrial agriculture is the only hope to end the food crisis, it appears that industrial agriculture is *causing* the food crisis.
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