domingo, mayo 11, 2014

Response to awful, wrongheaded National Geographic special issue on world hunger



Feeding Nine Billion: Five Steps to the Wrong Solution

Eric Holt-Giménez | 04.25.2014
National Geographic‘s recent online slideshow featuring an article by global ecologist Jonathan Foley lays out a Five Step Plan to Feed the World that proposes to “blend the best” farming techniques of organic and local farms with those of high-tech and conventional farms. It is a collaborative proposition framed within an attractive media presentation that relies on much of the conventional wisdom expressed in food and agriculture policy circles today.
It is also wrong.
The five steps (freeze agriculture’s footprint, grow more on existing farms, use resources more efficiently, shift diets, reduce waste) are all good technological fixes, none of which are terribly complicated. So if they are so great, why aren’t we implementing them? Or even more disturbing, why is hunger still prevalent in places where they are implemented?
The answer is because the Five Step Plan is based on a number of hidden–and false–assumptions.


Setting aside that we already grow enough food to feed 10 billion people, did you ever wonder where this 70 percent in 2050 figure came from?


The problem with proposing a happy blend of conventional and organic farming is that it ignores the ways that industrial agriculture and global markets are destroying smallholder livelihoods worldwide.

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