Food Security – A Global State of Emergency

Posted on March 5, 2011 by

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Food Security

By: Amenseph JP Wks

February 25, 2011

 

There is a heightened sense of alert that must be taken by all, especially as it pertains to that which we all have a need of, our natural – organic food.  The focus here is to bring awareness to the current and growing concerns of the global food securities.  Yes, security of a basic need such as food.  This is in many ways should be considered a global state of emergency, and so it is.

Based on the trends of current events within the global community, we have all witnessed some recent and major changes in the political arenas of many North African countries and subtly throughout the world at large.  What is seen at the forefront of these activities are the demands of the people challenging their governments in regards to the unjust equalities with political and governmental control of society and everyday life.

Some of the concerns that are not openly seen and addressed are the independent rights of global farmers which are being diminished to the point of where the affordability to provide and produce their own products are systemically being taken away.  For example, the Canadian and U.S. government allows farmers to sell their crops only to a handful of buyers.  Farmers can’t sell their crops to anyone else other than government sanctioned buyers.  Today in Canada and the U.S. a farmer is banned from selling independently.  In the U.S. this is due to recently modified Food Safety Modernization Act.  If a representative of a foreign country wanted to deal directly with a farmer to buy their crops they can’t.  Foreign countries, desperately in need of the abundance of food, seeds and supplies, cannot deal directly with farmers.

The results of such actions are people of foreign countries dying of starvation, not because of a food shortage, but because the governments of Canada, the United States and Europe ban their farmers from selling their crops to them.  Just think about it, in Africa, four out of five Africans depend on farming and related activities to provide for their families. Yet Africa is the only continent which does not grow enough food to feed itself. Nearly 240 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not eat well enough for their health and well-being.

Global Recession and its causes:

Since January 2006, the price of rice has risen by 217 percent. Wheat, corn and soybean prices have more than doubled, and in several countries, milk and meat prices have also doubled.

From then to now and in light of current events, the price increase for food and falling wages have sparked riots in more than 30 countries from Bangladesh to Egypt to Haiti and more. The prices of rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 percent within recent months, while the price of fuel has tripled.  The poor are being hit the hardest.  The steep rise in prices, have made huge differences in countries like Indonesia, where food purchases alone eat up over half of a family’s disposable income.

In January 1999, crude oil cost $8 a barrel. Today it peaks at $120 a barrel and is at an alarming rate of increase.  Oil is vital for every stage of global trade, and critical factors can be seen within the rise of industrialized agriculture: from synthetic-pesticide and fertilizer production, to fuel for farm machinery and international freight.   There is a constant rise as seen amongst the steep price hikes, and not surprisingly, food prices have risen with them.  With this increased power shift within the global economy the reliance in industrial agriculture for our food systems have become the new dependency.  The increasing wave of industrial agriculture has propelled corporate markets in the productivity of nonrenewable resources and genetic modifications of our food and produce capabilities.

Industrial agriculture in brief is a form of modern farming; the processing, marketing, and use of foods, fibers and byproducts from plant crops and animals; it is the innovation and change in the thought process for doing something, or the application of new inventions or discoveries.

What is seen here refers to an incremental emergent and/or the radical revolutionary changes in products, processes, and organizational control in the areas of what is genetic engineering, also called genetic modification.  This is the direct human manipulation of an organism’s genetic material in a way that does not occur under natural conditions.  Most of our produce and poultry is now effected through this process of genetic modification, and what that means is that the very things in which we rely on for growth and sustenance is no longer natural.

The effects of Genetic Engineering:

Some of the players in the game such as the WTO (World Trade Organization), promotes its agenda as a way to “feed the world”.  In truth, they help feed only those with enough money to buy food.  The WTO causes many small, family farmers to lose farms in countries around the world and in the United States.  Farmers’ who are thrown off their land or lose their land due to the inability to cultivate it, can no longer grow their own food, and have no money to buy any of the WTO’s bounty.

Organizations like Monsanto, is at the head of what is known as genetic engineering, they are the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seeds; they provides the technology in 90% of the world’s genetically engineered seeds.  One of the results of this is the level of restructuring and remarketing that can be seen and recognized in the reality that no grocery store in the United States and in most places in the world, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GE-free.  The pervasive planting of GE crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply is recognized while 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 and are being genetically engineered. Since these crops are commonly present in a wide variety of foods, a GE-free store is currently not possible in the U.S. (unless the store sells only organic foods).  Read your food labels and know what is in your food.

It is further important to understand where GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are sold or consumed, and who’s selling them.  Twenty-five percent of GMOs end up in non-labeled, non-organic processed food, even the so-called conventional or “natural” foods sold in grocery stores or restaurants; while the remaining 75% are forced-fed to animals on non-organic farms, factory farms, or CAFOs (Confined Animal Feedlot Operations); or else sold internationally, often without the informed consent of overseas consumers.

In June 2007, Monsanto acquired Delta & Pine Land Company, a company that had patented a seed technology nicknamed Terminators. This technology, which was never known to have been used commercially produces plants that have sterile seeds so they do not flower or grow fruit after the initial planting.

The Natural Solutions Foundation believes that the genetic engineering of food will inevitably lead to serious damage to animals, plants and the environment which have not been taken into account through the US policy of declaring GM foods equivalent to non GM ones.

There are also the unstable conditions of many nations that do not have the means to further themselves in self reliance and the ability to produce their own food and manage their own businesses.  Many are left to rely on what is made available for them, as in the likes of unnatural foods amidst high economic crisis.  In recent years, widespread opposition from environmental organizations and farmer associations have grown, mainly out of the concerns that hypothetical seeds using this technology and the influence of government standards with industrialized farming, increase farmers’ dependency on seed suppliers.

When a closer investigation is taken with what corporate marketing is doing to the global trade and production, one will also find that a lot of the existing sicknesses and health deficiencies worldwide are a result of and are connected to genetic engineering or GMO’s.

Protecting the future:

Food security is of the utmost importance for the global community. The maintenance of healthy standards, organic produce and self reliance is primary against the corporate takeovers.  President Obama has already proclaimed that there will be a food shortage by the end of this year (2011), and mainstream media continues to project the daily monitoring of the rapid increase of the price of oil and the continuous civil unrest amongst many nations.

Is there really a food shortage?  If you understood how the system works, the answer is no.  There is no food shortage only a corporate and governmental control of natural, organic food productivity.

Before there is a complete loss of what is natural and pure with respect to our food source, there must be vigilance in the preserving and saving of organic seeds.  There must be a diligence in respect to planting and growing organic foods for maintenance of good health and for self reliance.

Large agricultural corporations have literally changed the way seeds have worked since the beginning of time.  Farmers buy seeds, but the seeds produced from this year’s crops literally can’t be planted for the next year’s crop.  This is very profitable for seed producers, because farmers are forced to buy seed every year.  Around the world, and according to plan, the numbers of varieties of each sort of crop are diminishing at an alarming pace.

This practice makes our organic food supply vulnerable.  Once our supply of seeds is tied to just a few seed producers and a few varieties of seeds, deliberate attacks on just a few locations could trigger a world-wide food crisis.  Diversity in the gene pool allows species of plants and animals to survive encounters with new strains of diseases or especially destructive insects.  In a democracy, you might think there would be some dialogue in the media about the wisdom of proceeding on this course.  There is almost no public discussion of these issues.

What you can do:

Farming & Gardening

The natural phenomenon of producing food naturally without using synthetic chemicals and other harmful materials is known as organic farming. Although there is some distinction between farming and gardening never the less these two terms have some resemblance. In both gardening and farming, plantation is common. Preparing your own garden for the purpose of farming is known as organic farming gardening.

There are certain principles which are linked with the term organic farming gardening.  Some of them are as follows:

  • Avoiding synthetic chemicals, drugs and artificial fertilizers.
  • Prevention of soil depletion.
  • Growing different crops (not just a single specie), which is also known as “bio diversity”.
  • Avoiding the production of genetically modified organisms.

Its better choice to grow your own organic food rather going for chemically produced food. Your health is your wealth.

At the very least, what we can see here, is that this situation forces all to recognize that our modern industrial food system is extremely vulnerable and cannot be sustained on the current model.  There must be increased furtherance for the safety of our planet and for the future of our children.  We must look at the impact that this will have on the younger generations.  It is the young of course, who are hit hardest when food is scarce.  Will we be condemned for not doing what is right, for sitting idly by and watching the mistreatment of our environment?

 

Resources & References

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