Daily Archives: July 12, 2022

Farming for a Small Planet: Agroecology Now

Hidden, Vast Inefficiencies | A System Logic of Disassociated Parts | Climate Change Culprit | Perversely Aligned with Nature | A Better Alternative | Democratizing Farming | Lessons from Tigray, Ethiopia | A Viable Vision? | The Right Path | Endnotes

The primary obstacle to sustainable food security is an economic model and thought system, embodied in industrial agriculture, that views life in disassociated parts, obscuring the destructive impact this approach has on humans, natural resources, and the environment. Industrial agriculture is characterized by waste, pollution, and inefficiency, and is a significant contributor to climate change. Within so-called free market economics, enterprise is driven by the central goal of bringing the highest return to existing wealth. This logic leads inexorably to the concentration of wealth and power, making hunger and ecosystem disruption inevitable. The industrial system does not and cannot meet our food needs. An alternative, relational approach—agroecology—is emerging and has already shown promising success on the ground. By dispersing power and building on farmers’ own knowledge, it offers a viable path to healthy, accessible food; environmental protection; and enhanced human dignity.

People yearn for alternatives to industrial agriculture, but they are worried. They see large-scale operations relying on corporate-supplied chemical inputs as the only high-productivity farming model. Another approach might be kinder to the environment and less risky for consumers, but, they assume, it would not be up to the task of providing all the food needed by our still-growing global population.

Contrary to such assumptions, there is ample evidence that an alternative approach—organic agriculture, or more broadly “agroecology”—is actually the only way to ensure that all people have access to sufficient, healthful food. Inefficiency and ecological destruction are built into the industrial model. But, beyond that, our ability to meet the world’s needs is only partially determined by what quantities are produced in fields, pastures, and waterways. Wider societal rules and norms ultimately shape whether any given quantity of food produced is actually used to meet humanity’s needs. In many ways, how we grow food determines who can eat and who cannot—no matter how much we produce. Solving our multiple food crises thus requires a systems approach in which citizens around the world remake our understanding and practice of democracy.

Today, the world produces—mostly from low-input, smallholder farms—more than enough food: 2,900 calories, amounting to three to four pounds of food, per person per day. Per capita food availability has continued to expand despite ongoing population growth. This ample supply of food, moreover, comprises only what is left over after about half of all grain is either fed to livestock or used for industrial purposes, such as agrofuels.1

Despite this abundance, 800 million people worldwide suffer from long-term caloric deficiencies. One in four children under five is deemed stunted—a condition, often bringing lifelong health challenges, that results from poor nutrition and an inability to absorb nutrients. Two billion people are deficient in at least one nutrient essential for health, with iron deficiency alone implicated in one in five maternal deaths.2

The total supply of food alone actually says little about whether the world’s people are able to meet their nutritional needs. We need to ask why the industrial model leaves so many behind, and then determine what questions we should be asking to lead us toward solutions to the global food crisis.

…(read more).

See related:

Fauci On Highly Contagious Omicron Subvariant BA.5 And Rise Of Covid Cases

MSNBC – Jul 12, 2022

Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden and Director of NIAID, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joins Chris Jansing to discuss the rise in Covid cases across the United States and the highly contagious omicron subvariants responsible for it.

Losing: Steve Bannon Backs Down, Wants To Face Congress Questions About Coup Plan

MSNBC – Jul 11, 2022

Now that Steve Bannon is folding and says he will testify before the House Jan. 6 Committee, the questions linger; What did he know and when? MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber explains the value of Bannon as a fact witness and what the committee might learn from his potential testimony about the plot to overturn the election.

Trump Ally Steve Bannon To Testify In Jan. 6 Hearings

NBC News– Jul 11, 2022

Steve Bannon, an ally of former President Trump, says he will testify before the House January 6th committee, however, a judge ruled that his stunning reversal to cooperate will not delay his trial for contempt of Congress. Federal prosecutors are arguing that Bannon’s switch was “little more than an attempt to change the optics of his contempt on the eve of trial.” The January 6th committee is interested in Bannon’s activities leading up the Capitol riot including some of his comments the day before.

Highlights From Jan. 6 Hearing On Efforts Of Extremist Groups

MSNBC– Jul 12, 2022

Watch highlights from the January 6 committee’s seventh hearing with testimony from former Trump officials on a heated meeting over election fraud theories and a witness who participated in the Capitol riot.

Day 7 of U.S. Capitol attack hearings focuses on extremist groups, Trump’ s connection

CBC News: The National – Jul 12, 2022

During Day 7 of the committee hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the committee introduced witnesses that connect former president Donald Trump to the organizers of the attack.

Bannon Would Lie And Attack Jan. 6 Committee If Giving Public Hearing Expert Says

MSNBC – Jul 11, 2022

Steve Bannon lost in court in his last ditch effort to delay his contempt trial. Bannon’s trial being scheduled to begin next week, and the possible outcomes, are discussed by Joy Reid and her guests.

Jan. 6 Committee Plays Testimony Recounting Combative W.H. Meeting Over Fraud Claims

NBC News – Jul 12, 2022

The January 6 committee played testimony from Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Pat Cipollone and others about a heated White House meeting with former President Trump about election fraud claims.

‘Terrible idea’: Cipollone denounces Sidney Powell’s voting machine plan

CNN – Jul 12, 2022

In an interview with the House Select Committee investigating January 6, former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told members he thought lawyer Sidney Powell’s idea of having the federal government seize state voting machines was “a terrible idea.”

Jan. 6 Rally Leader Turns On Trump And Bannon For ‘Giving The Finger To The Committee’

MSNBC – Jul 12, 2022

Dustin Stockton, one of the Jan. 6 rally organizers who had close ties to Trump White House veteran Steve Bannon, joins Ari Melber after Bannon folds to the January 6 committee, saying he “wants” to testify. Stockton speaks on the perceived “definitive split” between rally-goers and Capitol rioters, and says it “felt like an affront to us that he had taken that more radical side” when President Trump sent people to the Capitol.