Saturday, May 19, 2012

Food Revolution Day: Millions Starve While Numbers of Obese Increase

At first, it seems an impossible contradiction that millions starve across the globe while obesity and related health risks rise at astounding rates.

Nevertheless when we consider the allocation of food resources across the globe, it becomes obvious that 'tain't a bug, it's a feature.

Industrialized countries have increasingly turned towards prepackaged pablum or fast food poisons, light years away from fresh produce and good nutrition.

Poor countries have increasingly had subsistence culture changed by demands to grow cash crops rather than traditional foods.  Marketing genetically modified seeds also crowds out and impoverishes local indigenous farmers.

Also increasingly, humans have predictably based the system on the seemingly cheapest source of energy: oil.

Nevertheless, free market economics easier values direct costs.

A more humane economic evaluation includes indirect costs like those carried by climate change, air pollution and resulting cases of cancer, and the great Pacific Garbage Dump created by our plastic waste befouling the life giving ocean.

Let this become the greatest challenge of my generation: feeding people with healthy food.

From the Prince's Speech:
[Questioning the conventional worldview is a risky business. And the only reason I have done so is for the sake of your generation and for the integrity of Nature herself. It is your future that concerns me and that of your grandchildren, and theirs too. That is how far we should be looking ahead. I have no intention of being confronted by my grandchildren, demanding to know why on Earth we didn’t do something about the many problems that existed when we knew what was going wrong. . . .

Very nearly 30 years ago I began by talking about the issue, but I realized in the end I had to go further. I had to put my concern into action, to demonstrate how else we might do things so that we secure food production for the future, but also, crucially, to take care of the Earth that sustains us. Because if we don’t do that, if we do not work within Nature’s system, then Nature will fail to be the durable, continuously sustaining force she has always been. Only by safeguarding Nature’s resilience can we hope to have a resilient form of food production and ensure food security in the long term.

This is the challenge facing us. We have to maintain a supply of healthy food at affordable prices when there is mounting pressure on nearly every element affecting the process. In some cases we are pushing Nature’s life-support systems so far, they are struggling to cope with what we ask of them. Soils are being depleted, demand for water is growing ever more voracious, and the entire system is at the mercy of an increasingly fluctuating price of oil.]

[This Saturday, May 19, will be the first-ever global Food Revolution Day. I can not tell you how proud I am that we have more than 500 cities in 57 countries around the world standing up for real food. And it couldn't be a more important time for it.

According to the World Health Organization, global obesity has more than doubled since 1980 and more than tripled in children. Across the world more than 1.5 BILLION adults are overweight and of those 200 million men and 300 million women are obese. We are in big trouble.

Despite these grim statistics, and general shouting about the problem across the world, no one -- not government, schools or doctors -- have worked out a plan to give our children the tools to live longer, healthier, happier and more productive lives. Our kids are the first generation predicted to live shorter lives than their parents. As a father this is unacceptable to me -- and should be unacceptable to you.]

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