Double stab by The Lancet pierces illusions about Farms, Food, Climate

January 30, 2019

The esteemed British medical journal The Lancet has released two commission reports emphasizing the pivotal role that farms and food play in deteriorating human and environmental health, as well as in the mounting chaos of climate change.

So dire is our current state, the reports argue, that our ongoing survival and welfare as we live on earth requires a radical transformation of the farm and food systems. It will take mass public interest, activity, and direct support to make that happen.

The commissions warned explicitly that this essential transformation will require that consumers demand and pay for food that is raised and distributed in new ways. What you choose to eat, and the way your food is grown, have a direct impact on personal and global health. Our individual choices collectively create the rapidly deteriorating condition of our public health and the earth environment that sustains us. Those are not opinions or illusions, but rather scientific realities which are once again substantiated in these two commission studies.

The two Lancet commission reports were published separately in January, 2019. The first report, Food in the Anthropocene, was authored by 37 scientists from around the world, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems. The second report was titled The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission Report. That commission report was researched and written by 26 experts from 14 countries.

According to The Global Syndemic report, human beings are actively under threat from three global pandemics, all of them directly linked to the way we eat. Through their operations ‘Big Ag & Food’ corporations are driving global epidemics in obesity, undernutrition, and climate change. All of them threaten human beings. But their interactions create a hazardous impact greater than the sum of one, or two, or more afflictions. In combination, the three pandemics establish a global syndemic. That’s a set of linked health problems involving two or more afflictions that interact synergistically to drive conditions into a danger zone.

The researchers noted that ‘Big Food’ companies, driven by profit and heedless economic expansion, are through their actions inciting this syndemic. Industrial farm operations drive greenhouse gas omissions; meanwhile, paradoxically, people around the world are stricken by undernutrition, obesity, and a host of other diet and environment-related diseases.

The syndemic commission found that pandemics of malnutrition and obesity interact with climate change in a feedback loop. Together they represent an existential threat to humans and the planet. The modern western diet, they wrote, has become highly damaging, and needs a complete overhaul if we are to avoid ecological catastrophe. We need to cut global meat consumption in half, and more than double the volume of whole grains, pulses, nuts, fruit and vegetables we eat, according to the commission.

In conclusion, the syndemic commission report noted that the evidence that our diets are the largest cause of climate change and biodiversity loss is now overwhelming.

Strongest Lever
Meanwhile, also in the month of January, 2019, the 37 scientists of the separate EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems in 2019 authored their landmark publication, Food in the Anthropocene. These scientists concluded that food is the single strongest lever to improve human health and environmental sustainability.

Food systems have potential to dramatically increase environmental sustainability, they wrote, and to nurture and to improve human health. Our current food systems, however, are fouling ecosystems, and accentuating climate change. Overall the food system is the single largest driver of environmental degradation.

Further, as the commission reported, unhealthy diets now pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined. Thus, an immense challenge facing humanity is to provide a growing world population with healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Food in the Antropocene commission called for a radical transformation of the global food system. Individual action won’t be enough. We need to act as individuals, and then also actively cooperate on community, national, and global approaches and systems.

deep agroecology, #deepagroecology, deep agroecology, #deepagroecology,


The Way we farm is the key to Our Future

November 25, 2018

You can find Farms of Tomorrow Revisited on amazon.com 

 

The way we farm < >


Thank You Farmers: Our Ambassadors to the Earth

November 18, 2018

~ The Call of the Land ~
An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century

Deep agroecology #deepagroecology


For many reasons, heed The Call of the Land

November 14, 2018

As of Autumn 2018, I have re-named this blog. The call of the land is stronger than ever, of course, but there are other calls to heed, certainly including the calls arising from the many millions of storm-tossed, displaced, and hungry human beings and animals.

As we reckon with compromised land, air, and water, and as climate chaos intensifies, all of these calls merge into an overpowering chorus. Thus, in keeping with the theme of my latest book – Deep Agroecology: Farms and Food at a Cultural Crossroads (forthcoming in 2019) – I’m adding deep agroecology to this blog’s title. You’ll find a short essay on the subject of deep agroecology by clicking the Deep Call link on this blog’s menu bar.

In the meantime, until the new book is published in 2019, I’ve created a meme (above) to serve as a reminder that as I expressed in an earlier book, The Call of the Land, the call is exceedingly strong and insistent right now. It’s time to respond intelligently and energetically. As I see it, the creative agrarian and agroecological community forms that are emerging in America and around thew world are, for certain, our main chance.


Farms of Tomorrow Revisited

November 1, 2018

Our classic book Farms of Tomorrow Revisited continues to support the development of healthy farm & food community linkages.

deep agroecology deep agroecology, #deepagroecology, #deepagroecology

 

https://amzn.to/2JtG70B


Intelligent, strategic responses to political, economic, social & climate turbulence

January 2, 2017

My intention with the half-hour Youtube offering below is to present CSA farms to the public in the context of the severe turbulence now afoot in politics, economics, social structure, and climate change. I regard CSA farms as intelligent and strategic responses to all these hard realities.

My hope is that the slide show lecture, which is freely available, will be used to help strengthen community food initiatives around the Americas, and especially help to engage many more new people. We are going to need many more strong, vibrant local food systems, and we need them now.


Community Farmers Convene in America’s Heartland

November 11, 2015

For dozens of reasons, it’s time to convene in America’s heartland a conference of farmers involved in Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Thanks to the artful community collaboration of 15 farm organizations* – anchored by the Wisconsin Farmers Union – just such a gathering will happen December 3-4, 2015, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin: The Midwest CSA Conference: Moving Forward Together

…CSA is a unique model and thus deserves it’s own special gathering every couple of years to refresh the vision. Are CSA farms just a passing agrarian fantasy, or can they serve as enduring cornerstones for community and ecosystem renewal in our region and beyond? CSA is continuing to evolve as a resilient model in an era of rapid change…

At the conference I will have an opportunity to give a keynote talk: Awakening Community Intelligence: CSA Farms as 21st Century Cornerstones.

The rest of the story about the CSA conference is here in my blog for Mother Earth News.

CSA USE


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