Archive for food security

Whose Food Footprint?

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Influenza, Organic agriculture, Revolution, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by rgwallace

Inside the network of NGOs and intergovernmental agencies addressing food insecurity, disease, and environmental crises, the ‘c’-word–and it isn’t ‘cancer’–is rarely, if ever, publicly uttered.

Last year a trio of us attempted to say the word plainly, if only in passing, in a broad history of food crises we submitted to an OIE bulletin. But the piece was bowdlerized in its editing and all references to capitalism and critiques thereof excised.

More recently, in a more informal venue, my politic comments on the capitalist origins of epizootic outbreaks were repeatedly deleted from what was until then an ecumenical One Health Facebook page.

It is in this context we wrote a paper, now just published in Human Geography, explicitly connecting capitalism, agriculture and the environment. HG is put out by a non-profit foundation in an effort to skirt academic profiteering by multinational media conglomerates. It is at this point one of the few journals willing and able to publish such a piece.

Continue reading

Fork in the Road

Posted in Ecological resilience, Organic agriculture, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by rgwallace

This is the final installment of the ‘big picture’ on global food crises I co-authored with Richard Kock and Robyn Alders. The first two installments can be found here and here.

We learned food insecurity and disease outbreaks can serve as a cover for a particular capital-securitized science tied into spreading the Livestock Revolution, with profound effects on diet and health worldwide.

Studies of bird flu outbreaks, for instance, at one and the same time repeatedly embody the premises of and serve as tautological arguments for the transition into highly capitalized farming. ‘Biosecurity’ effectively permits agribusiness, a likely source for pathogenic influenzas, to dispossess indigenous farmers, spreading hunger and disease and despoiling local agro-ecologies. The resulting environmental collapses are treated as due cause for subsequent dispossession.

That is, agricultural pathways are as much, if not more, about controlling the means of food production as they are about the food produced.

Continue reading

The Born Identity

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by rgwallace

With Richard Kock and Robyn Alders I co-authored the following review of food and forest crises. Richard presented an earlier version at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Wildlife held in Paris in February. Over the next few days we will publish three slightly edited excerpts.

The past is more than prologue, setting the very paths on which subsequent circumstances contingently emerge. It also actively exists, albeit in a modified form, in the structures and processes we find ourselves a part of today.

Within such a framework we will argue here that solving the ongoing food security crisis in the coming decades requires reflecting back on agriculture’s role in human history and identifying key events and factors that have led to, and continue to drive, the current challenges.

Continue reading