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Feeding people is easy: But we have to re-think the world from first principles

Public Health Nutrition, vol.8 no.6A, pp.716-723, September 2005


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Resource information:
Resource IDtudge2005
Resource titleFeeding people is easy: But we have to re-think the world from first principles
Author(s)Colin Tudge
Publication/ sourcePublic Health Nutrition, vol.8 no.6A, pp.716-723
Date publishedSeptember 2005
Summary text/ abstractObjective: Agriculture designed to make best use of landscape and to be maximally sustainable would also provide food of the highest nutritional and gastronomic standards, and would inevitably employ a great many people. Thus it would solve the world's food problems, and its principal social problem, at a stroke. But agriculture in practice is designed for a quite different purpose – to generate wealth, in the cause of 'economic growth'. The pressing need is not for more science and technology, but to recognise the true cause of the problems and to re-think priorities. Conclusion: We could all be well fed. Indeed, everyone in the world who is ever likely to be born could be fed to the highest standards of gastronomy as well as of nutrition until humanity itself comes to an end. We already have most of the necessary technique – perhaps all that is needed. We could always do with more excellent science but we need not depend, as we are often told from on high, on the next technological fix. The methods that can provide excellent food would also create a beautiful environment, with plenty of scope for other creatures, and agreeable and stable agrarian economies with satisfying jobs for all. In reality, in absolute contrast, we have created a world in which almost a billion are chronically undernourished; another billion are horribly overnourished, so that obesity and diabetes are epidemic, and rising; a billion live on less than two dollars a day; and a billion live in urban slums – a figure set to increase and probably at least to double over the next half century; while other species are disappearing so fast that biologists speak of mass extinction.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Economics, Food & Agriculture, Land Rights, 'Limits to Growth', Neo-Luddism, Peak Oil, Simplicity, Vegans/Vegetarians
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