“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Have you ever been hungry? Really really hungry? Not just as a result of deliberate dieting, but from lack of food? I venture to say that most people in a position to read this, would not have much experience with feeling this. Particularly those maybe under 50 years of age. Hunger gnaws away…… and that’s just the physical feelings, not to mention the psychological aspects.
I find it abhorrent that in this day and age, hunger is a growing issue – pun intended. Food of all types is grown – sometimes to excess – but price and distribution affect who it reaches. Both on a local and on a global level.
“Each year it distributes over 35 million kilograms of food and groceries – that’s the equivalent of over 183,000 meals a day. Foodbank accounts for 65% of all the food distributed to charities by food rescue organisations in Australia.
Foodbank works with the entire Australian food and grocery industry including farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. Donations include stock that’s out of specification, close to expiry or excess to requirements. Companies also make donations as part of a commitment to social responsibility or a cause-related marketing campaign.
In addition, Foodbank collaborates with suppliers, manufacturers and transporters in programs like the Collaborative Supply Program, to source key staple foods that don’t come in sufficient quantities via rescue channels.”
We’ve changed how and what we eat. Most food comes from factory farms these days, whereas in earlier times, a great deal was produced from home gardens. I don’t believe the term ‘factory farming‘ only applies to animals, but to all so-called modern methods.
The nutritional quality of the food consumed is also an issue. There is rarely a black and white answer to situations, and this is no exception. Soil depletion, brought about by ‘modern’ farming methods, is certainly an issue. Read more about this aspect in Scientific American. Irakli Loladze unexpectedly found a link between rising CO2 levels and dropping nutritional values. I’ve observed pets fed only on a highly processed diet, who are overweight, are also exhibiting starvation signs as their bodies are crying out for ‘real’ food. Feeding pets is a topic unto itself….and I may tackle it another time.
At various times in my life I’ve been involved with the production of food, so I feel I’ve got practical experience to speak on this topic. Droughts, floods, and there was even the experience of going through a locust plague. I’ve seen the changes…..
Back in the late 1980’s when we moved onto a farm property, I and my then partner were horrified to find that none of our neighbours were growing food for their own use. Even their meat was purchased, despite them running sheep as part of their farming enterprise. We ran sheep and pigs, grew grain, I raised poultry for meat and eggs, and had a large productive vegetable and flower garden. It was an anomaly in the district.
In earlier days, farming women would look after laying hens, and sell surplus eggs. The hens would be fed on grain grown on the property, and scraps from the kitchen, as well as running free-range during the day. Occasionally a non-productive hen would end up on the chopping block. Eating chicken was not a daily occurrence. But the days of traditional self-sufficient farming are well over, and I notice it’s generally the city-escapees who endeavor to return to that lifestyle. Urban Homesteading is becoming more common thankfully. Despite enjoying my transient lifestyle, I do miss producing some food to put on my plate.
The production of food is the ‘elephant in the room’. However, I feel it’s time for me to begin to speak out about it. Australians are experiencing drought conditions in many areas, and this is bringing the ‘plight of the farmers’ to the city folk. I feel it’s great to bring the two groups together, as since early white settlement days, there’s been a divide between the city and country, exemplified by the Bulletin Debate. That said, I am definitely NOT IN FAVOUR of the current farming methods employed across most of Australia’s arable regions. Across the world in fact. Things need to change.
Take a few moments to read the reports on GMWatch. Let that information digest….. or do you find it utterly indigestible?
Killing machines and monuments of folly.
Farm spraying equipment for sale in a small Eyre Peninsula town, with the grain silos in the background.
Rapists and murderers.
Raping the land. Cropping on sandhills is NOT sustainable farming.
Sadly, this is not an exceptional view of farmland , but becoming more and more common. I have seen far far worse in my travels.
There IS hope, for those willing to change. One of those offering a different path, is Charles Massey. He may not have all the answers. But it’s a new beginning, which we desperately need.