Touch the Soil News #635
A food tremor is something more than background noise. It casts a hint of what a food problem can grow into. For example, in nature tremors often foreshadow a volcanic eruption or earthquake.
Food Tremors Now Happening
- The global demand for vegetable cooking oil is so great it is driving rainforest demolition and people exploitation. Peoples of all nations are competing voraciously for the same pool of cooking oils (palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil and olive oil). This tremor can drive food inflation.
- Congested crop farming leaves little room for nature to mitigate disease. Wheat rust is a fungal disease that compromises wheat, barley and rye yields – up to 50 percent in severe cases. It is on the edge of spilling over into the “unmanageable” category. Thirty seven percent of the world’s wheat acreage is at risk of compromise. When looked at in the light of complementing tremors such as weather, drought and floods, this tremor can drive “surprise” shortages and food inflation. (see video below)
- Congested livestock farming leaves little room for nature to mitigate disease. The Avian Bird Influenza has spilled over into the “unmanageable” category on a global scale over the past six months. Chicken flocks for eggs and meat must be destroyed if the avian flu is detected. Over the past couple of years well over 100 million birds have had to be destroyed. At this moment the global gap in the supply chain of poultry meat is estimated at 1.5 billion pounds – almost 5 lbs. for every person in America. This tremor can drive “surprise” shortages and food inflation.
- The nation’s financial system is structurally unable to expand enough to include all people in mainstream economics. Food tremors – in terms of a shortage of dollars to buy – will continue to grow across the national landscape. This tremor is driving challenges relating to access to fresh and healthy foods in large sectors of the American population.
- Unusual cold, drought or flood. Freak cold temperatures in southern Europe this winter have curtailed production of key vegetables and lettuces by 40 percent in the European Union. Over 500 million people face rationing (and price spikes) of basic vegetables for several months this winter. Tremors of weather can drive “surprise” shortages of fruits and vegetables and drive food inflation.
- Political and financial obsolescence. These problems in Venezuela have decimated the effectiveness of the food chain to deliver and make available affordable food. The black market for food has mushroomed to serve the wealthy – externalizing the mass population. Venezuela is drastically trying to create a food system that is close to urban centers and harnesses people’s own labor, local resources and government aid. This tremor can lead to political unrest.
What is the Food Tremor Message?
Over the past decades, the industrial food chain has proven to be an arena of carnivorous activity – speculation, international gamesmanship, environmental overshoot, lack of oversight and no unified sense of food stocks for security. By following food tremors, the individual and community can more appropriately decide the next course of local action. Food tremors are incenting world-wide localization/ regionalization of food.
Municipalities are coming online around the globe with new city codes that promote leniency in market gardening and urban farm stands. They seek to harness the power of vacant and municipal land.
The American landscape carries some benefits. There are 40 million acres of lawn and millions of acres of parks, golf courses and vacant lots close to large population centers. While these agricultural resources were not developed for food production, food tremors can change the perception of them.
- Every household, apartment, neighborhood and community has untapped and unidentified agriculturally important assets. Whether it is a small patio for pots, a larger yard for a garden or vacant lots in the city.
- Knowing how to grow food – at any level – can be as important as knowing how to drive. Let this year be the year you test the waters for growing food. (see video below)
- Growing food may not save money at the start. However, with experience consider the value of some insulation against food tremors that you have no control over.
- Every food tremor adds to the economic viability of urban and local farming.
- Home or market gardening has become an international “hip” thing to do – and there is more than just being “hip” that is driving this trend.
- Growing your own food as medicine is a side trend growing out of the larger landscape of food tremors – particularly in the realms of health and food safety.
Follow Kelp4Less News as we bring you the latest on food tremors and how people, municipalities and nations are deciding to change directions.