How do you think “our present food system simply not working”?

This would be some of my worries: Our food is controlled by a small group of oligopolists; we need to transport our food many miles; we are too vulnerable to system collapse stemming from a crisis like a drought, disease, gas shortage, etc.



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    Here’s a fact I refer to a lot: there are 1 billion obese people in the world and 1 billion people who are undernourished.  If we accept that a “working” food system would be one where all humans have roughly equal access to food, then this should be evidence enough of the food system’s failure. 

    Furthermore, you’re right to worry about oligopolies, transport, and collapses in the food system.  If you look at the “food riots” of the past few years, those came from a “collapse” in the food system: people who were used to to paying, say $1 for a loaf of bread all of the sudden were facing bread prices closer to $2.  When you’re poor, that can be the difference between feeding your family and going hungry.  And this happened all across Africa and the Indian subcontinent.  With global warming come less predicatble harvests–floods, droughts, etc. turn traditional agriculture into a much more volatile endeavor.  With a global food system, where one region is relied upon for growing wheat and another for growing rice, climatic surprises in one area can shock the entire network, and send it spiraling.  Commodity futures traders don’t help at all either. 

    One of my biggest points in the book is that it’s going to become crucial–some would argue that we’re already at that point–for population hubs to get closer to total self-sufficiency.  And if you’re not growing your own food and dealing with your own waste–“dealing with” as in “capturing some of the energy stored inside it”–then you’re not where you need to be.  The positive side of this is that we know how to do all of this!  So that’s what keeps me positive about this, is that I’m proposing something that’s actually incredibly feasible with the existing technologies.  I just want to bring these people together to collaborate! 

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