If you knew that your city only had three days of food in reserve for an emergency what would you do differently?
Food is a basic necessity. For the most part, we take our food supply for granted and believe that we can readily get healthy food when we want it. This reality is rapidly changing as food borne illnesses, food shortages caused by droughts and flooding; increases in human population and increasing oil prices drive up the cost of food.
True Cost of Food: A fabulous video exposition on the differences between “factory-farmed” and small scale, organically farmed produce. Skip to minute 3 if the old lady’s voice bugs you—that’s where the good stuff starts.
Appreciation to The Sierra Club for the video.
According to the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) there are more than 1 billion undernourished people and the world is facing critical food challenges caused by rising costs, extreme price fluctuations, and food demand that is expected to double within 40 years. Recent food shortages of rice and wheat in developing countries have received global attention. This increasing awareness is giving rise to much greater interest in sustainable agriculture and food security at the national and local level. Concerned individuals are looking for a measure of control over their food supply and food safety and are turning to local urban farming as a solution.
The rate of change is most pronounced in developing economies where vulnerability to even small changes in the cost of basic necessities is destabilizing, but even in wealthier economies like our own, people are experiencing rapid and profound change in the area of food security as this recent article from the Globe and Mail demonstrates:
March 8, 2011 – www.theglobeandmail.com
Canadians will be paying between five and seven per cent more for groceries on average by the end of the year, economists say. A family that spends about $400 a month on groceries could end up paying up to $340 extra in a year. Bad crops around the world, oil trading for more than US$100 a barrel and the economic recovery are driving prices higher.
Food companies are raising prices due to the soaring costs of key commodity ingredients like wheat, corn, sugar and vegetable oil, which have gone up as much as 50 to 100 per cent over the last year at a near-record rate. …
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As knowledge of our vulnerability spreads to the front pages of mainstream newspapers and television shows and as people observe the effects of natural disasters like the one that has just hit Japan, awareness and concerns are escalating worldwide at an exponential rate.
When we ask ourselves: “What can I, as an individual or as the member of a household, do to protect myself and my family?” few avenues exist. One of the avenues that does exist is to take control, to some degree, of our food supply.