Friday, August 21, 2015

Food Riots?

"That's the year they had food riots in Calcutta and Rio and Manila, when the world was finding out that it was easier to produce eleven billion living human beings than to feed them." 

Mike Resnick, in the story, 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm,' from the collection of his work, 'New Dreams for Old.'  This is a work of fiction, however, it is much truer than any of us would like.


 Right now, the world has about 7.3 billion people. It is estimated that we could reach 11 billion by 2060. That is less than 50 years from now. All things being equal, many of our children will still be alive, as will our grandchildren . . .  

"The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014." 

"About 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every four seconds, as you can see on this display. Sadly, it is children who die most often."

Food riots are real.  They began happening in Europe in the 1700's.  However the earliest food riots were more about political maneuvering that  brought about high prices than they were about real food shortages.  Here is a list of some historical food riots with brief descriptions and links to more information:

In 2013, high food prices fueled Egypt's riots—and those in Brazil, Turkey, and Syria:

Food riots continue to happen in our modern world. Rioting and looting in Venezuela this year has become common, over food shortages brought about, at least in part, by politics.

Food shortages are expected to worsen over the next few years, and they are expected to be less based on politics and economics and more based on the fact that, because of high populations coupled with the effects of climate change, we won't be able to produce enough food for everyone.  " . . . the Impending Global Food Crisis is Real and is due to Happen in the next 15 Years."

" . . . climate change is contributing not just to melting ice caps and rising sea levels, but also to drought, food shortages and, ultimately, to global instability.  


What can you do? Eat lower on the food chain. The less animal protein you eat, the more grain is left for other people to eat. Don't eat more food than you need. Don't buy more than you will eat. If you are throwing away uneaten food on any kind of a regular basis, you are placing more demand than necessary on the world's food supplies, which contributes to rising prices, which is pricing poor people out of a place at the table. Grow a garden! The more food we can produce ourselves, the less demand we are placing on world food supplies and the more affordable food will be for the poorest people.  For more ideas on what you can do, check out my book, Food Security and Sustainability for the Times Ahead.

Park your car and grow something!  Please check out my article, Carbon Production = Oxygen Consumption.

Become a food producer.  Now is the time to think about fall gardens, which are the easiest gardens to grow.  In addition to the greens covered at the link below, most roots do well in the fall also:


If you have tips or questions on reducing your demand on world food supplies or starting a garden and becoming a producer, please leave a comment!


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