As groups mobilize, organize, and demand genuine participation, this false legitimacy driven by actors like the Gates Foundation begins to crumble.
It has been said that how we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on well-being than any other human activity. Indeed, until the grand food bargain came along, limits to food were an unchallenged fact of life. Coping with the scarcity of food structured daily living around the natural rhythms of seasons, plants, and animals. In geologic time, the transition from food scarcity to abundance was like flicking on a light switch.
Joanna Blythman explains the five foods that she no longer eats, and why.
While hunger is a prevalent form of malnutrition in developing countries, malnourishment can also be found far closer to home, here in the UK, where its impact is significant and increasing. NHS England calls malnutrition a “common problem”, affecting millions of people in the UK.
We often fail to realize that food is also ubiquitous in our modern society, not only providing nutrition, but also a strong determinant of most aspects of the economy, society and culture.
We no longer think of food as medicine, or expect it to be medicine. We are more often concerned about the negative aspects, avoiding the unhealthy foods we shouldn’t eat. Plants have provided our medicine for most of human history.
A recent report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems identifies these five mechanisms whereby the current food system makes people sick. The report calls for a reform of the food and farming systems to be made on the grounds of protecting human health. Many of the most severe health are caused by core industrial food and farming practices, such as chemical-intensive agriculture; intensive livestock production and the mass production and mass marketing of ultra-processed foods. They are in turn stimulated by the deregulated global trade.
True believers in high tech disruption are having a heyday trumpeting out forecasts based on the positive and inevitable transformation to be caused by a takeover of a modestly-sized food retailer, Whole Foods, by Amazon, which a short time ago had a 0.8 per cent penetration of the $800 billion US grocery market, and even less in Canada and the UK.
While its slice of the overall energy pie may seem relatively low, the modern American food system is figuratively awash in fossil fuels.
Nitrogen is absolutely crucial to life — an indispensable ingredient of DNA, proteins and essentially all living tissue — yet it also can choke the life out of aquatic ecosystems, destroy trees and sicken people when it shows up in excess at the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong form.
How are some plant breeders, farmers, millers and bakers retracing the path to ancient, diverse grains that will see us eating healthier, tastier bread into the future?
Extraenvironmentalist #85 focuses on the topic of GMOs in the second of our three part series from the 2014 Slow Money Gathering.