Food and You (English)



years ago small-scale producers were growing indigenous plants from community cared and kept seeds until powerful companies in an attempt to commodify farming in food production sold them patented and GM seeds along with chemical fertilizers and pesticides while the benefits from having greater yields were enjoyed for a time the overuse of chemical fertilizers and other modern farming methods have damaged the land and environment this along with the rising price of oil has meant that many can no longer afford or access the industrialized farming methods that now dominate global food production many large scale farmers receive financial assistance through large subsidies but small-scale farmers don't have the support or the resources to boost production weather unpredictability from climate change is affecting crops with drought flooding and other severe and erratic weather changes small-scale producers are often lacking proper storage for their produce so they cannot store their food for the winter or create stable income from a stored harvest in the offseason they have challenges getting their produce to markets because of bad infrastructure an expensive middlemen along with cheap imported food have created markets with prices that local producers cannot compete with women produce the majority of food but their challenges are multiplied because they don't have the same rights to the land as men governments in developing countries are pushing people off their land and offering it to foreign governments and corporations for we cheap prices they invest an offshore land to grow crops for food and fuel once it's grown and harvested it's sent out of the country leaving its people with uncertainty about where their land or food will come from currently one-third of corn crops grown in America are used for biofuels now that the demand for biofuel has taken over available cropland the companies look elsewhere to grow their corn but filling an average-sized car with biofuel amounts to as much maize as the average African person consumes in an entire year and the less food there is for people the more the food prices go up industrial farming to make biofuels also results in large amounts of co2 being released into the atmosphere accelerating climate change and reversing the positive effects that cleaner fuels have big investors are trading food as another traded commodity and while it means big profits for agribusiness firms most people are suffering because of it the UN is calling for an investigation into the possibility that global food prices are being artificially pushed up by financial speculators the prices of staple food could more than double in the next 20 years and the demand for fuels used in industry and transport is adding to the increase we have enough food on our planet to feed everyone but hunger and obesity are indicators that our food system is not working around one-third of all food produced is not consumed but wasted this amounts to nearly 1.3 billion tons in wealthy countries food is wasted when corporations retailers and consumers tossed perfectly edible portions into the bin in underdeveloped nations food goes to waste due to bad infrastructure and inefficient distribution a few powerful governments and companies dominate the global food system three agribusiness firms control nearly 90 percent of grain trading between them they have utilized advances in science and technology to boost production but they have failed to adopt sustainable practices to ensure the survival of our environmental systems food is responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions too many of the ways we grow through today are using up and destroying the natural resources we rely on arable land per person is decreasing having almost halved since 1960 in water is even scarce urban land agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater use the rising demand for oil to fuel our factories power our cars and meet our consumers needs as well as the increasing demand for meat and dairy products is putting added pressure on the system by 2050 there'll be 9 billion people on the planet and demand for food will have increased by 70% the seasons and rainfall patterns become more erratic and unpredictable due to climate change it will be even harder for farmers to know when to sow cultivate and harvest their crops on top of this extreme weather events can wipe out harvest in a single stroke the global food system must be transformed it's actually already started and in most cases government's aren't leading it it's changing from the roots with individuals organizations and movements connecting globally via vision for a healthy system that supports everyone a growing desire for change has been gaining momentum and its focus as a system with global solidarity where we listen to the unheard voices and needs of all and act out of cooperation not competition where we share resources fairly and value the environment and where everyone has enough to eat always the shared vision that is growing from the roots is pressuring governments and corporations to change their old ways giving way to innovation and increasing solidarity consumers are putting pressure on companies to shift to ethical and sustainable practices governments are now being forced to intervene on rising food prices and steps are being taken toward better policies and trade agreements whether you work on a local regional national or global level you can be a part of the movement to grow a better future these are what some of the possibilities look like but they are just the beginning new ways of thinking producing and consuming a paradigm shift in agriculture towards more sustainable and ecologically friendly practices that benefit the world's 900 million small farmers not just agribusiness we don't just focus on crop yields we focus on quality and distribution better waste management sustainable consumption in green consumerism adaption to climate change in a reduced vulnerability to impact as well as a global deal on climate change to ensure countries are working together towards more sustainable practices we preserve our resources and share them fairly we take action on trade agreements we regulate banks and reform bad policies we support small-scale environmentally friendly production methods based on local knowledge women are empowered and the door is open for them to join the conversation on land use we support communities to fight against corporations that are trying to push them off their land we invest in smallholder agriculture so that communities can support themselves and don't go to bed hungry how are you and your community impacted by the global food crisis what are people doing to address these issues in your community how can you help grow the movement

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