Tuesday, October 16, 2007

World Food Day

Today we observe World Food Day. It is a day coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This year's theme is the "Right to Food". After refusing to sign various right to food declarations throughout the 1990's the US continued to stand-alone at the World Food Summit in June 2002 opposing the right to food. The U S would only agree to vague language referring to the opportunity to secure food…good luck you 800,000,000+ hungry people! There would be no language to address the right to food and everything is voluntary and non-binding.

……… The Bush administration also supported more trade liberalization, obedience
to the dictates of the World Trade Organization, and additional so-called HIPC
(Highly Indebted Poor Countries) structural adjustment, which includes budget
slashing, privatization, and market opening for the world’s poorest countries.
read more.....

All the “compromise” language is transnational corporation friendly. Terrible practices, such as genetically modified crops are protected, leaving the planet at risk for catastrophic unintended consequences. Patenting of genetic resources, require farmers to pay the corporations to use. Farmers have actually had their own seed crops contaminated by patented seeds and then been sued by the same corporation for using their patented seed. Some farmers were forced to destroy heirloom seeds, in their families for generations. The list of greed, injustice and lack of humanity goes on and seems, at times, unstoppable. Corporate personhood trumps human personhood. We have no choice but to work for change in every way we can.

Most of the people I know are well fed and not worried about food security. I have even had people suggest I shouldn’t “talk like that” when I’ve said food security. I thought of the reply after the fact. “Jez!!!!! I said food security, not food insecurity.”

So here we are, close to peak oil..could be another 10 minutes or so. The good news is the solutions/adaptations we need to face peak oil will take us in the right direction in addressing climate change. The bad news is we are wasting precious time, precious lives and precious resources as our chance for survival hangs in the balance. We in the US are 6-7% of the world’s population using 25% of the world’s resources. 22% of all the “consumption” we do ends up in the garbage. A large percentage of us are comfy, distracted, over-consuming and disconnected from the other humans around us. This must change. We need to move quickly from a “me” society to a “we” society. We will need everybody’s talent and contribution to have a successful community as our paradigm changes. There is one earth and it belongs to all of us. Or I have had it suggested it “belongs” to none of us. I love the movie the Power of Community because it inspires us to be our best selves. The people of Cuba faced an artificially imposed “peak oil” when the Soviet Union fell. They lost up to 80% of their food imports and half of their oil imports over night. They went from petroleum based everything to the complete opposite. It was a painful time, known as “the special period”. The average Cuban lost 20lbs. Cuban agriculture used more petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers than we did!! They had completely subscribed to the petroleum based “green revolution”. We now know this shortsighted, unsustainable, toxic method also comes with unintended consequences, such as soil destruction. The Cuban people have much to share if we will listen. We do not have to reinvent the wheel in a lot of areas. Strong community organizations are growing. We have Community to Community here.

Community gardens are being started. Annual conferences are being held. Some of the greatest minds and big brains are involved. We have had great leadership in our past. For example; FDR in his Four Freedoms speech in 1941.

The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy
peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

He is not talking about just the US. We will save our home, planet Earth, if we join together with all the other human occupants. We absolutely must care about another’s hunger. The right to food is non-negotiable. As Jim Hightower’s daddy used to say, “everybody does better, when everybody does better.” I sure as hell do not want hungry neighbors!!

these cards are available at :

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change.

and Ferndale has launched it's community garden..........

cool video tribute.......

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