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The Future of Food

The global food supply intustry is doomed - here's why...

The Future of food
20 October 2010 @ 13:40


The Future of Food


It may seem at first glance that there is no stopping global corporations from taking complete control of worldwide food supply. Indeed, they are already close.

They are powerfully armed.

They have patented genetically modified(GM) seed, which farmers may not save. They also have ‘suicide seeds’, which do not germinate next time around.  They control international trading rules, forcing poor countries into highly disadvantageous trading agreements via the International Monetary Fund. They have powerful marketing strategies, that are indeed responsible for great suffering. Take the on-going Monsanto ‘Indian Cotton’ debacle, where the company persuaded hundreds of thousands of farmers to give up their traditional (seed saved) cotton crop varieties (perfectly suited to local conditions) and replace with Monsanto BT cottonseed.

It didn’t work. Crops failed. Monsanto then provided credit to farmers in order that they might risk another years growing. Further crop failures followed. This has led to severe economic stress within the farming community and over 150,000 cotton farmer suicides to date.

So yes, they do seem all powerful.

But they are also in fact, fatally vulnerable.

Their terminal problem is the rising cost of energy.

Industrial agriculture consumes 10 calories of fossil energy for each single calorie of food produced – and rising.  Chemical crop applications, (fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide) plowing, seeding, harvesting, irrigation and transport consume most of the energy requirement. And apart from fertilizer, which is produced from gas, all the rest are oil-reliant activities.

When the price of oil goes up, these businesses go down, with the inevitable ‘Localization’ of just about everything – including food.

In fact, ‘Localization’ is already moving apace in many places.

In UK there’s the burgeoning ‘Transition Towns’ movement, now taken up by hundreds of communities. (see: One of their primary objectives is the localization of food supply, with a ‘grow your own’ revolution unfolding rapidly. Landowners across the country are discovering the huge new demand for the rental of allotment sized plots . An acre of land rented as allotments is now fetching landowners up to £3,000 per year – an opportunity not to be sneezed at. The National Trust has just decided to back the ‘grow your own’ movement also, having just made available an initial allocation of 1,000 allotment plots.

There has also been a doubling of small scale seed sales in the last year, as ever more people discover the financial, and health benefits of home grown food.

So what of Spain?

Well, the ‘Transition’ movement is here now in a few communities, including Coin. One further initiative that is also moving forward here, is the development of more sustainable management of urbanization green zones, which until now are highly reliant on fossil energy. A number of forward looking urbanization managers are now considering the introduction of organic vegetable beds.

There’s a way that practically anybody can get started home growing at low cost, which is by using worms to compost the raw kitchen waste and then using the compost to create a ‘Raised Bed’ for the food growth. Raised beds can be mounted on just about any surface. For example, concrete or tarmac will do just fine. All the site needs is a bit of sun – and you’re away! Plant organic seeds and in no time at all you will be eating your own home grown, poison free food.

So come on, no excuses - go for it!

If you would like to see what I get up to with Worm in my garden,  then take a look here…



Best regards

James Machin

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