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How Can Cities Be Smart Without Food?

Touch the Soil News #1196 (Feature photo – New York City – CCA 4.0 International) Someone once said that asking the right question is one of the most powerful game-changers. The power lies in how people work to try and answer the question. How can cities be smart if they are at the end of thousands of miles of rail track and roads from the food that sustains them? The short answer is that it is not smart. Most cities do not even have enough food in stores and warehouses to last two days. A recent story on Food+City delves into the question of how cities are forgetting food. How…

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Should Cities Establish Relationships with Food Growers in their Region?

Touch the Soil News #1189 (Feature photo – Cities Have Pushed Away Food, Farming and Farmland – CCA 2.0 Generic) The concept of food security is often just an idea that looms out there as a theoretical debate. When one puts their ear to the ground, however, there are food tremors everywhere sounding muffled alarms to major metropolitan areas. Modern economic practices do not ensure that food from nations and regions that are food positive will reach nations and regions that are food negative. Even the United Nations is now recommending that cities re-establish roots with regional food systems. The logistics it takes to produce, process, warehouse, transport and retail…

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Will City Governments Take On Larger Roles in Food Security?

Touch the Soil News #1168 (Feature photo – Quezon City Needs More than Money to Feed Itself – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) While we all enjoy the convenience of having “cash” purchasing power, what happens when cash is insufficient to acquire life’s key necessities? Quezon City, Philippines – with a population of 3 million people – is part of the much larger Manila metro area of some 24 million people. The region has been experiencing food-price inflation to a point where Quezon City officials decided action was necessary. In 2010, they implemented a program called the “Joy of Urban Farming”. The goal is to reduce the cost of food through…

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Food Tremor – Co2 Shortage Limits Food Choices in Britain

Touch the Soil News #1057 (Feature photo – Chemical makeup of Carbon Dioxide – GNU Free Doc License) While debates rage over how we can’t adequately feed the world, theorists focus on farmland and water. The Co2 shortage in Europe lets us know that it goes beyond farmland and water. Co2 is used to put the fizz in soft drinks and beer, as a preservative for meat and produce and as dry ice for frozen food deliveries. It makes us realize just how fragile the food chain can be. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Louise O. Fresco

Touch the Soil News #1021 (Feature photo – Aerial Drone – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Most of us have never heard of Louise O. Fresco. She recently made news when she challenged why the world still measures agricultural productivity in terms of land and not water use. One of the most accomplished researchers and scientists from the nation of the Netherlands, Louise challenges the future of food as we know it. Her biography and experience are so extensive, it compels attention. So why is what Louise says important today? She explains that the foundations of food have eroded in ways unanticipated in the past and we are unprepared for what’s…

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Speculation Risks Food Security

Touch the Soil News #979 (Feature photo – Farmland – Public Domain) It is no secret that economics are tossed and torn by the forces of speculation. Bets on what crops will do and bets on farmland have played their own role in displacing farmers from the land. Recently, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix reported a special committee of the Canadian Senate was studying the problems of rising farmland costs that put ownership of farmland by farmers at risk. The committee found that pressures from urban development, farmland purchases by multinationals and farmland purchases by pension funds could destabilize Canada’s food security. According to Dianne Griffin, chairwoman of the special committee:…

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Billion Dollar Sugar Project – Largest in the World

Touch the Soil News #931 (Feature photo – Egyptian Coat of Arms – public domain) Whenever a checkbook comes out to spend $1 billion on an agricultural project, one must take note. Recently, a project called Al Canal Sugar was announced by the Egyptian government and a wealthy Dubai family – both of which will participate in the financing. The plan comes with a 60-year lease on a 190,000-acre farm to raise sugar beets and other rotation crops. The farm will produce 5.5 billion pounds of sugar beets a year. In addition, the plan is also to create a refinery to process the sugar beets into sugar – about 1.8…

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Political Freedom – Versus Food

Touch the Soil News #930 (Feature photo – British Coat of Arms – CC SA 3.0 Unported) Great Britain is a nation of some 66 million people. The nation became part of the European Union in 1973 – 45 years ago. Since that time the politics, economics, finance and trade of Great Britain has become inextricably tied to the European Union. Last year, Great Britain passed a majority referendum to exit the European Union. That effort is popularly called “Brexit”. Now, some British food experts are getting cold feet. Seems that Great Britain now gets one third of its food from the European Union under favorable trade terms. Concern is…

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Food Security Index

Touch the Soil News #828 (Feature photo – Coast Guard crew members help on a food drive) The Dupont Company – through research and investigation – publishes a global food security index on 113 different countries. You’ll be glad to know that for 2017, the United States is number two from the top with a score of 84.6 out of a potential of 100. The number one spot goes to Ireland with a score 85.6. This makes one ponder. Why then are there almost 50 million people food insecure in the U.S.? Were it not for a number of factors – including the presence of the world’s most advanced food…

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Solving Hunger – End War, Stop Climate Change, Send More Money

Touch the Soil News #809 (Feature photo – map of areas of global conflict – courtesy of Futuretrillionaire CC SA 3.0) Under the umbrella of the United Nations are the world’s leading organizations attempting to stop starvation of 815 million people, up 35 million from 2015. These organizations include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization. For perspective, since 2015, global population has grown by over 150 million. Together these organizations have just produced the 2017 – State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World. Their findings are rather sobering: Global hunger affects 11…

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