Food Security 3-Pack
First program: Radical Compassion
There was much fanfare as the leaders of the U.S. and China, the world’s largest carbon polluters signed what was trumpeted as an “historic” deal cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the Center for Science & Environment in India denounced the agreement as “self-serving” and “business as usual.” Much more urgent action is required to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. As the eco-crisis accelerates and the major contributors to climate change make grandiose statements but then take halfhearted measures, it is easy to despair. But we simply can’t afford to do nothing and wallow in negativity. The moment calls for action and engagement not passivity and indifference. The magnitude of the crisis requires radical compassion for the Earth and all its inhabitants and flora and fauna. Despite probes landing on comets this is the only home we have.
Second program: Food Security & GMOs
Genetically modified organisms, GMOs have become hot button issues in more and more communities. GMOs are plants with altered DNA. Its proponents, large corporations like Monsanto, hail the technology as a revolutionary solution to feeding the world’s growing population. However, concerns are mounting about the risks posed by GMOs, both to human health and the environment. For example, they may produce new allergens and toxins, and spread harmful traits to non-GMO crops. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment cannot be recalled. Industry response is, Don’t worry. Eat to your heart’s content. But can we? Do we have a right to know what is in the food we eat? Are we preparing meals of Frankenfood or nutritious, safe, and healthy ones? Are corporations playing with Nature as if she were a Lego set?
Third program: Food Justice
The global financial debacle has drowned out coverage of the rise in food prices. There are billion-dollar bailouts for banks while the poor go hungry. A billion people around the world face food insecurity. The crisis has arisen from a mix of speculation and deregulation, promotion of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, the diversion of crops to biofuel production, and trade policies that have pushed farmers to grow monoculture cash crops primarily soy and corn for export rather than for in-country consumption as food. The Urban & Environmental Policy Institute says, "Food justice is everyone having enough to eat; healthy food for our children; food that doesn't contain harmful things that we don't know about; freedom to grow our own food; ability to buy food directly from farmers; fair wages for those who grow, cook and work with food."
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