August 05, 2009

“Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

One of the more recent causes for the crisis in food availability is the diversion of large amounts of corn, soy, and palm oil into producing industrial-scale biofuels, now commonly known as agrofuel. As many countries seek to break the influence of oil producing nations, they flaunt the new ‘greener’ fuels as some kind of saviour. Of course the greedy way we use and waste power makes their use unsustainable and decidedly ungreen. In 2008 30% of the entire US corn crop was diverted to car fuel production.

World food supplies are badly distributed. One billion people suffer from continual and severe hunger. Another two billion live in perpetual food insecurity . Close to one-sixth of humanity do not know where their next meal is coming from. In the US more then 36 million live in food poverty.

The ‘free market’ has not taken care of the problem. Indeed it has made it worse. Responding to an insatiable demand for meat has diverted valuable vegetable food to cattle fodder. As much as 95% of calories are lost in the conversion of grain and soybeans to meat. Industry is concerned with profit, not with feeding the hungry.
It takes approximately 1,000 pounds of water to grow one pound of wheat and the ratio is similar for other grains. Thus importing food is the same as importing water. Egypt, is cutting back on thirsty rice growing and is already seeding resentment by not compromising on the rights to Nile river water usage. Water security is an issue now.

Governments know what is coming. Africa is being bought up by private industry and large nations alike. Read the full Agriculture and Food in Crisis article here:

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