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Food and Cities – This is Way Out!! (Part 1 of 2)

Touch the Soil News #406

“Think Tanks,” even though they have been around for decades do what they say they do – thinking – but for who? Consider the complexities of the world and massive amounts of information. Individual politicians not as proficient at assembling and digesting volumes of data into some kind of policy or direction. Hence the power of Think Tanks to provide solutions to politicians. A constant question is what sort of agendas are weaved into “think tank” material?

Recently, a powerful policy organization (think tank) – The Chicago Council on Global Affairs – sponsored the coming together of 23 people – all highly educated and experienced in food and agriculture policy. There were two former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture, several former governors and congressmen, and top academic officials from prestigious Universities. This broad collaboration of agricultural policy talent created a 140 page report called: GROWING FOOD FOR GROWING CITIES – Transforming Food Systems in an Urbanizing World.

Besides the agenda of directing global policy, there was a “sister” agenda: Calling for organizing the major global cities as future centers of political power and policy. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs had annual donations in 2015 of approximately $15.5 million from some very powerful people including Bill Gates.

The 140-page report establishes the city as the place where things will happen and mega-cities are where things will happen for huge concentrations of folks. Following are some of the report’s findings about cities:

  1. Today, 54 percent of the world’s people’s live in cities. By 2050, that figure is expected to be 66 percent.
  2. Population growth in cities, on average, comes 75 percent from births by people already in cities and 25 percent from permanent rural migration to cities.
  3. Most of the world’s problems are in cities where most refugees migrate to and where water, sanitation, food, employment and political stability are the most important.
  4. In 2013, 863 million people lived in urban slums of developing regions. Over the next four years, there are projected to be 500 million more people in those same urban slums.

Churchgate Station in the mega-city Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay). Mumbai, along with a host of other cities projected to be home to 30 million plus in the future, are at the heart of the agricultural and political visions of the 140 page report: Growing Food For Growing Cities.

The report highlights the dramatic increase in agricultural production necessary to meet the trajectory of expanding populations (mostly in cities). The primary objective of the report is directed at what the United States should do.


In part 2 of this news piece, we will look at what the report wants the U.S. Government to do and a shocking insight into a global movement that is anything but recognized.

Following is a short video clip on the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. See what you think.

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