well-done movie from the university of minnesota’s institute on the environment, that frames the food problem quite well.

for more on this and to hear a good case for his idea of ‘terraculture – farming for the whole planet’, check out jonathan fowley’s TED talk ’the other inconvenient truth’.

an abbreviated history of fossil fuels, by the post carbon institute, from which i also posted this excellent analysis on growth. the title of this video sums up my idea of the near future quite well: ‘the next ten years will be very unlike the last 10 years.’

PCI’s point is that, we have to learn four things very fast:

  • – learn to live without fossil fuels
  • – adapt to the end of economic growth as we know it
  • – support 7 billion humans and stabilize population
  • – deal with our legacy of environmental destruction

can we?

nice gandhi quote! :)

yes, organic farming can indeed feed the world!

i’m oftentimes confronted with the argument that organic farming is a flawed solution, because it cannot feed the entire population, let alone the 9 billion people we expect by 2050. that this is the product of false information from the industrial food lobby is not even so clear to many people in the ‘green movement’, so i thought i’d set the record straight.

in 2007, two researchers from my alma mater argue that organic farming can feed the world. in fact, they found organic farming can produce up to three times higher yields than conventional farming, with the average being around 80% in developing countries (paper here).

since one research paper might not impress you, there’s more: in 2008, the IAASTD published a 2500 page report (supported by the world bank, the UN, and the WHO, 60 world governments and 400 experts) that says that the industrial food system can’t feed the world in the long run, and the conventional system actually increases hunger, exhausts resources and aggravates climate change. unfortunately, the report has not garnered much media attention.

however, these findings are even shared with the highest UN authority on food. in march 2011, olivier de schutter, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, reports that “eco-farming can double food production in 10 years”, and is quoted in the corresponding press release: “we won’t solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations. the solution lies in supporting small-scale farmers’ knowledge and experimentation, and in raising incomes of smallholders so as to contribute to rural development.”