It’s really getting time to consider a home vegetable garden it seems; if you’re lucky enough to have the space for it. There’s been a huge increase in rather unsettling indicators that we’re heading for a food crunch – sooner, rather than later.
Food issues are starting to strike very close to home. For example, in some parts of the USA, stores are now rationing rice.
The reasons behind all this are complex, but it’s mainly down to 4 things – the cost of oil, the ethanol industry taking up so much of the food crop, climate change impacting crops and increasing demand from Asia. The best way to describe it is a “convergence of crises”.
Oil is such an intrinsic part of our lifestyle – powering our vehicles, used for making clothes, plastic production, transporting our food and even used as fertilizer. As peak oil really takes hold; it’s not going to get any cheaper. And the sooner we stop using food as fuel, the better – it’s been described by a member of the UN as a crime against humanity.
Climate change is the wildcard; we really don’t know what will happen – but the indicators aren’t good with science scratching its collective head as to how fast it’s all happening and new issues not before considered coming to the forefront.
As for the Asian market; they are simply trying to emulate the lifestyle that for decades we have portrayed as being the “good life”. We need to impress upon those that seek to copy us that we’ve made a horrible mistake – our planet simply can’t sustain our consumption; or more accurately, hyperconsumption.
Even the United Nations is warning of dire consequences. According to the UN, the cost of food globally has increased 40 percent since mid-2007. Most frightening is the UN chief’s statement that the world has “consumed more than it has produced” in last 3 years.
What we need is a wartime type effort. On a small scale, the re-emergence of the Victory Garden is a great strategy, which were home vegetable gardens that played a crucial role during the war years in keeping food on the tables in many countries.
The more self sufficient we all are, the less money we need and less strain on the environment; assuming of course we implement earth friendly cultivation practices. For example, if you’re planning a vegetable garden, consider planting heritage and heirloom seeds. You’ll be helping to keep older variations of vegetables from becoming extinct and keeping cash from the mega-corps that seek to control the world’s food production.