The current global food crises – some thoughts

I think the current global food crises is more apparent than real. That’s not to say that food isn’t short and the prices aren’t rising rapidly. But, at bottom, there is still a lot of slack that we could take advantage of in the world’s food system.

First, the biofuels thing is misguided and causing more problems that it is worth. Valuable cropland that used to be used to growth human food is now being used to grown food for … cars.

The right answer to the problem of lessening world oil supplies is not to switch to biofuels to avoid giving up our consumption habits. The right answer is to adapt and to start living within our (oil) means. And a second impetus towards this path is that we need to lessen the amount of Carbon Dioxide we’re pumping into the atmosphere.

Second, we could back off eating so much meat and this would free vast amounts of inefficiently used food resources. I read that it takes six meal’s worth of grain to produce one meal’s worth of meat. So, if a person gave up one meal of meat, they and five other people could all share a meal based on grains.

So, there’s slack in the system that we could take advantage of. The question is, as always, human nature.

Will we do the smart and logical thing here … or will we continue to deny reality and press ahead with unabated oil consumption, biofuel growing and rampant meat consumption while larger and larger numbers of the world’s poorer people begin to starve.

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