Daily Archives: October 24, 2018

Who Will Feed the Future? – Food Tank

Photo courtesy of We Feed the World Exhibition, photographer Martin Westlake

Anna Lappe

Food dystopias make my stomach a little queasy. I remember a food industry conference that opened with one businessman dreaming of a day when cooking food would be as bizarre for consumers as sewing a pair of their own jeans. Applause ensued. What is the future of food? Are everyday people in the kitchen? Are farmers on the land?

The answer to these questions is hotly contested. Listen to the venture funds and private equity firms investing in synthetic meat, CRISPR technology, or biotech seeds. For them, the answer lies in the lab, not the soil. Tune into the billionaires backing some of the biggest food conglomerates, beverage companies, or grocery retailers, and the answer is found in bottles and cans and processed foods.

But tune into the voices of the people closest to the land, to the people buying the food, and to the data about the human and environmental impacts of industrialized farming, and you hear a different answer entirely. It’s an answer that puts farmers back at the heart of the future of food and real, whole food—not the processed stuff that fills a typical Big Box store—squarely in the center. It’s an answer that reflects the reality that, globally, smallholder farms still produce as much as 70 percent of the world’s food and are stewards of three-quarters of the world’s seed biodiversity. Likewise, listen to the researchers and scientists who have studied the potential of smallholder agroecology to feed the world and cool the planet. Their research debunks the food industry’s biggest myth: that we need chemicals, engineered seeds, and animal factory farms to feed the world.

A new photographic exhibit and campaign, We Feed the World, challenges the patronizing dogma that farming with ecological principles at heart is backward-looking by lifting up the stories of farmers who are charting a different future. These farmers, photographed by world-renowned photographers, upend the dominant story that industrial agriculture—dependent on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, and drug cocktails in animal operations—is key to feeding a growing world population.

…(read more).

Anna Lappe spoke as part of the We Feed the World program, which launched at the Bargehouse Gallery in London on October 12th and closes on Sunday, 21st October. A US tour is expected next year.

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Nigeria launches awareness campaign to eradicate polio by 2019

Fight or Flight: Coastal Community Adaptation by The ClimateReady Podcast | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Elizabeth Rush to discuss her latest book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore.

In 2017 nearly 10 percent of U.S. citizens were affected by major disasters. Hurricane Harvey that year was estimated to have resulted in more than $120 billion alone to southeastern Texas. After a tradition of coastal management that paved over wetlands, channelized floodplains, and pushed poor communities into low-lying areas, many coastal communities now also experience sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, and increasingly severe weather.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in author, professor, and photographer Elizabeth Rush to discuss her latest book “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” (milkweed.org/book/rising).

We interview Elizabeth to find out more about vulnerable coastal communities around the United States — from New York to Louisiana to California. In Rising, climate change is no longer a problem of the future but an imminent threat. Through poignant stories, we hear how communities handle these realities on their own terms.

Following our main interview, we asked Elizabeth to read an excerpt from her book that would be especially relevant for our listeners. She examines the complexities around “risk” and arrives at some really insightful conclusions about how perceptions are shifting over time.

Elizabeth Rush’s website: elizabethrush.net/

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See also the series: ClimateReady Podcasts

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, Elizabeth Rush

Harvey. Maria. Irma. Sandy. Katrina. We live in a time of unprecedented hurricanes and catastrophic weather events, a time when it is increasingly clear that climate change is neither imagined nor distant—and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways.

In this highly original work of lyrical reportage, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. Weaving firsthand accounts from those facing this choice—a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago—with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of the communities both currently at risk and already displaced, Rising privileges the voices of those usually kept at the margins.

At once polyphonic and precise, Rising is a shimmering meditation on vulnerability and on vulnerable communities, both human and more than human, and on how to let go of the places we love.

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