UN: Eco-Farming Feeds The World

For years now, the most-asked question by detractors of the good food movement has been, “Can organic agriculture feed the world?” According to a new United Nations report, the answer is a big, fat yes. The report, Agro-ecology and the Right to Food, released yesterday, reveals that small-scale sustainable farming would even double food production within five to 10 years in places where most hungry people on the planet live.

Continue reading…

Middle East Unrest Adds Pressure On World Food Prices

The missing link is oil, which hit a has new two-and-a-half year high and today topped $108 (£67) a barrel due to the instability in Libya – which has Africa’s biggest crude reserves. The price is moving closer to the record levels of more than $147 (£91), reached just before the financial crash in 2008.But in the longer term, the impact may also be evident on the dinner table because the zigs and zags of oil prices are increasingly being followed by grain.

Continue reading…

Conference Puts Food Economy On Table

Transition Colorado is the reorganized, combined version of nonprofits Transition Boulder and Boulder County Going Local. Got that? Well, all you have to know is that the new mission is a modern twist on “Think globally, act locally.” Transition Colorado puts that kind of thinking into action in a number of ways.

Continue reading…

Hunger For A Change

Sharply rising food prices have often meant trouble for governments, especially when people expect better and the cost of food is a big fraction of average household consumption. In the U.S., where grocery costs are a small fraction of the average budget, it is hard to imagine the effect of sharply rising prices for bread or rice, cooking oil, and other essential foods. It’s seldom been enough for out-of-touch regimes to say, “let them eat paistries” (or brioche, as Marie Antoinette put it in the face of the French revolution).

Continue reading…

What Lies Behind Egypt’s Problems? How Do They Affect Others?

At least part of Egypt’s problem is the fact that in the past the government has threatened to reduce food subsidies. Now it is planning to hold food subsidies level and raise energy subsidies, but it is not clear that the dollar amount of subsidy will be enough. The government is taking steps to make food and energy affordable for most, but there is worry that the steps being taken will not be enough.

Continue reading…

Oil And Food Prices

In reality, the oil is used for illustrative purposes only. The energy in the food systems comes from many sources, such as natural gas for fertilizer and drying grains, and the electric grid for almost everything. Broadly, however, industrial energy sources tend to have correlated prices and oil is considered the lynch pin since it is involved in the transportation of all goods, including energy inputs. Given the heavy use of oil in the food system wouldn’t you expect oil and food prices to correlate? Well they certainly do.

Continue reading…

High Global Food Prices But Local Solutions?

From the macroeconomic management point of view, rising food prices have several undesirable consequences. They can spur inflation and, if left unchecked, lead to protectionism and social unrest. Already there are reports of rioting in Algeria over high food prices although the high and chronic unemployment among youth has been a factor behind the social unrest.

Continue reading…

World Hunger Best Cured By Small-Scale Local Agriculture

authors suggest that instead of producing more food to meet the world’s growing population needs, a more effective way to address food security issues and climate change would be to encourage self-sufficiency and waste reduction, in wealthier and poorer nations alike. ”If we shift just some of our attention away from production to consumption issues and reducing food waste, we might actually get quite a big bang for our buck, because that ground has been neglected,” said Brian Halweil, co-director of the project.

Continue reading…