Humans Waste Enough Food to Feed 3.48 billion People Annually – GMOs Weren’t Developed to ‘Feed the World’

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Courtesy of Ethan A Huff @ Natural News:

It isn’t a lack of food that is the driving force behind world hunger, but rather a lack of effective food distribution. An estimated 1.43 billion tons of food go to waste every single year around the world, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, which is enough to feed some 3.48 billion people in need.

During a recent UN forum, fixing this out-of-control problem was a primary topic of discussion. Entitled “Feeding the World: Food, Agriculture and Environment,” the gathering, which took place in Naples, Italy, focused on ways to reign in the waste problem and develop new ways of conserving the food that we already have.

“We need a transformative change in our food and agricultural policies to have sustainability,” explained Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.

More food is being produced now compared to 60 years ago, and the overall percentage of people who are considered undernourished has dropped from 18.7 percent two decades ago to about 11.3 percent today. But the sheer volume of food that ends up in dumpsters and landfills is shockingly high, and more can be done to save it.

Based on the data, about one-third of the food produced globally ends up in the trash can. In monetary terms, this represents losses of about $680 billion annually in developed countries and $310 billion in developing countries, according to the SAVE FOOD initiative.

Meanwhile, some 805 million people across the globe suffer daily from a lack of adequate nourishment. This is despite the fact that everyone on the planet could consume about 2,800 calories every day based on current output levels — that is, if all the food currently produced was distributed evenly. Continue reading

The Welfare Dependents the Government Loves? Rich Landowners

It comes as no surprise that the UK government defers to powerful landowners, its aim is to take us back to a neo-feudal age where the powerful and wealthy rule over the proletariat. It’s working. Feeding the UK is an important job but the whole agricultural industry needs to be re-examined and made financially and ecologically sustainable. One topic George Monboit fails to mention is hemp, it is an amazing plant which strengthens soil through its root structure, requires very little looking after and puts nutrients back into the land. Not only are there hundreds, if not thousands of uses for hemp but it should be incorporated into crop rotation and would help build a new sustainable industry and market within the UK. With only 2% of UK land built on, it’s time for an open and honest debate. Courtesy of George Monboit @ The Guardian:

Just as mad cow disease exposed us to horrors – feeding cattle on the carcasses of infected cattle – previously hidden in plain sight, so the recent floods have lifted the lid on the equally irrational treatment of the land. Just as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) exposed dangerous levels of collusion between government and industry, so the floods have begun to expose similar cases of complicity and corruption. But we’ve heard so far just a fraction of the story.

I hope in this article to lift the lid a little further. The issues I’ve begun to investigate here – the corrupt practices and the irrationality of current policies – should unite both left and right in a demand for change. They should be as offensive to those who seek to curb public spending as they are to those who seek to defend it.

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‘So much erosion is caused by maize growing that a 10-hectare field causes run-off of 375m litres of water.’ Illustration: Matt Kenyon

In July 2013 the British government imposed a £26,000 cap on the total benefits a household can receive. In the same month it was pursuing a different policy in urgent discussions in Brussels: fighting tooth and nail to prevent the imposition of a proposed cap precisely 10 times that size (€300,000, or £260,000). The European commission wanted this to be as much money as a single farmer could receive in subsidies. The British government was having none of it.

It won, with the result that this measure is now discretionary – member states can decide whether or not to cap farmers’ benefits. Unsurprisingly, the British government has decided not to. The biggest 174 landowners in England take £120m between them. A €300,000 cap would have saved about £70m. If farmers were subject to the benefits cap that applies to everyone else (£26,000), the saving would amount to about £1bn. Why should a cap be imposed on the poor but not the rich? Continue reading