Touch the Soil News #707 (photo – Kelp4Less News Editor Benjamin Gisin)
For those of you familiar with our news postings, you know we cut a broad swath as relates to happenings in the food chain. We are now well into our third year of publishing the “News” page. During this time, we are keen to discover trends. Following are three (3) mega-trends we see unfolding that may have relevance to what you are doing:
- Food tremors (when things go wrong in the food chain) are increasing in size and number. There are two main reasons for this. 1) The financial world has pushed the industrial food chain into a “just-in-time” inventory platform. The food you buy at the grocery store or restaurant arrives just in time. This means small upsets can send prices upwards and result in real shortages. 2) Population numbers continue to grow rapidly and concentrate in cities. The logistics of keeping cities in food are staggering and can be upset not only by climate issues, but financial, political and logistics anomalies as well. Things that may have had small consequences in the past – relative to impacting people – can have larger consequences today.
- The growing disparity between industrial food and health. In 1960, for every one dollar Americans spent on food, they only spent 36 cents on health care. This year (2017) it is estimated that for every $1 American spend on food, they will spend $2.26 on healthcare. These numbers tell us that we are spending six times more on healthcare than food today than in 1960. The dramatic irrelevance that highly processed food with toxic residues has towards being healthy is having dire consequences to quality of life, health and personal finances.
- In times past, when financial volatilities made dollars to buy food scarce, most people had food gardens or access to the resources needed to grow food. In other words, they were not totally dependent upon dollars to eat. Today, with most of the world’s population living in cities, the prerequisite for dollars in order to eat has become the #1 necessity – not land, water and seeds.
- Innovations in agricultural technology, urban agriculture and cities changing legal codes to facilitate urban food are creating new food systems more rapidly in third world nations. This is in part due to the fact that the urgency to do so is greater there than in the U.S. In addition, the rapidly evolving socialization around food is being fostered more by third world governments.
The following urban farming video clip – even though it is from India – has striking relevance here in the U.S.: