Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

There are, of course, more important things . . .

. . . than pink bowling balls. Here is a perhaps insufficiently alarmist review of the emerging global food supply crisis. It leaves out some huge problems, including the steady degradation of farm land, the likely catastrophic impacts of climate change, peak phosphate, and the growing competition between food and fuel for agricultural output.

The fact is, the only way we're ever going to feed the population two decades from now is if we do absolutely everything right. That means greatly improving the sustainability of farming techniques the world 'round; recycling phosphorous instead of letting it flow into rivers (and generally keeping agricultural runoff out of the water and recycling it back into the soil); and oh yeah, much less consumption of meat. Base your diet on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. The planet is depending on you. And I mean it -- things could get mighty ugly.

Not that this has anything to do with politics or policy as it is actually practiced in the United States.

Bob Abeshouse for Al Jazeera runs down the quite likely successful project of the Koch brothers to buy the government of the United States. Which largely explains our predicament.

Update: For some reason, I am unable to post a comment to my own blog -- I get an error message. So, I'm not trying to big foot Mr. Anonymous, but in response to the comment:

Turning grain into meat uses 8 times as much land and other agricultural inputs as eating grain directly. And whatever nutrients animals add to the soil came out of the soil in the first place. True, cattle can graze marginal land unfit for planting, and chickens and pigs can clean up some waste, but that's not how we're using those animals today. A sustainable agricultural system requires far less meat consumption than at present.

Eating whole wheat causes health problems only for people who are allergic to gluten, which is actually uncommon, although there's a quack fad against wheat. Soy is good for you, excellent food.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually meat is an important part of food production, allows the use of land as pasture that can not be farmed. Provides nutrients to the soil. We need more J. Saletins and less CAFOs. And less grains such as wheat and soy, which are a cause of a lot of our medical problems.

Cervantes said...

Just testing . . .

pay per head said...

Great information, you have a wonderful blog and an excellent article!!

pay per head said...

I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely

DinahShore said...

So the faculty is recognized as a body of professionals with specialized training and knowledge who are in turn uniquely qualified to exercise decision-making authority. you have discussed a very impotent topic. thanks for the great efforts
content writing

how to write master dissertation said...

you have discussed a very impotent topic. thanks for the great efforts.


DEWHURST TOULSON said...

The planet is depending on you.
thesis topics