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The Future of Food?

Touch the Soil News #845 (Feature photo – courtesy of Homeland)

While it sounds like a sweeping topic, the future of food is being defined by a number of activities that have been around for decades. Dozens of organizations and governments have and continue to document the encroachment of these activities as we move through time. Here are the activities that continually surface and for which there is debate, but not on the larger international scale that it should be.

 

1) The growth of humanity began thousands of years ago near the most fertile lands and abundant water resources.

2) Rather than protect these resources, the economic plan was to pave farmland, over allocate water resources and compromise the health of both.

3) As a general rule, the loss of farmland has been made up by slashing and burning rainforests.

4) The United Nations reports that between 1990 and 2015 the world’s forested lands shrank by approximately 475 million acres. That equates to roughly 30,000 square miles a year.

5) While estimates vary by country, roughly 70 percent plus of deforested areas go into livestock grazing or intensive mono-culture farming.

6) While it is a complex issue, the world has established a scary practice of dismembering critical ecosystems in order to feed itself.

7) One of the largest contributors to deforestation is humanity’s insatiable appetite for palm oil – which is used in personal care and food products.

 

Recently, in a rare move, the United Nations Environment and Rabobank (world’s largest financier of agriculture) created a new $ 1 billion dollar facility to finance sustainable agriculture. The fund uses a combination of public and private funding. The project has initially identified 42 million acres of fragile farmland in Brazil and Indonesia where the goal is to integrate crop, livestock and forestry into a sustainable model.

While it is “wild” speculation, given the high stakes to keep Earth healthy, spending for sustainability may shoot up into the $ trillions each year in the coming decades.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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