Food Security and Fair Share

I’ve just been reading a presentation by Julia Wright on Ensuring Food Security Through Agroecological Approaches– Why isn’t it a “No‐Brainer”?. In it she points out that:

  • Global food production is currently at 4,600 kcal of edible food per person per day which is enough to feed 14 billion people
  • We currently waste approx 40% of the food we produce
  • There are 1.6 billion over‐nourished people in the world compared to 1 billion under‐nourished

Reading this reminds me of the last of the permaculture ethics – Fair Share. Why is it that, if we have enough food in the world we allow people to go under nourished? Why don’t we make more of an effort to change things? Why do we not all speak out more loudly against the unjust systems that maintain this inequality of food distribution? Why do some of us persist in consuming too much whilst others starve?

Ok, so it’s complicated. It involves complex financial markets. Food is unevenly produced around the world. Climate change means that it is getting harder to grow food in some places. We need fuel so industrial level farming is now growing food crops to make biofuels.

But is it so complicated? When people around the world are allowed to have their own land and are given the means and the Yacouba-Sawadogoknowledge they are often able to grow enough food to support themselves, their families and their communities. Julia’s presentation refers to how some people in Cuba have been able to ensure food security where modern industrial farming is failing. Recently I watched a video about Yacouba Sawadogo, The Man Who Stopped The Desert, it shows how one man was able to make a bigger impact on sustainable agriculture in the Sahel desert than all of the scientists – truly inspiring!

And there are so many more examples – if you know of any do share them by commenting on this blog!

So what is needed?

I don’t pretend to have the answers but I do think that we need to be more vocal. Let’s shout about the injustices, let’s celebrate where good things are happening and support them. Let us inform ourselves more about the impact we have as a so called developed society and find ways in which we can make “Fair Shares” happen. Then we can increase food security and global security as well as helping our global brothers and sisters.


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