Risking the visceral reaction garnered when anyone says anything positive about Cuba, I found this interesting article concerning how that nation is, and has been dealing with the global food crisis. From the online edition of Newsweek.
(HAVANA) For Miladis Bouza, the global food crisis arrived two decades ago. Now, her efforts to climb out of it could serve as a model for people around the world struggling to feed their families.
Bouza was a research biologist, living a solidly middle-class existence, when the collapse of the Soviet Union — and the halt of its subsidized food shipments to Cuba — effectively cut her government salary to $3 a month. Suddenly, a trip to the grocery store was out of reach.
...Cuba's urban farming program has been a stunning, and surprising, success. The farms, many of them on tiny plots like Bouza's, now supply much of Cuba's vegetables. They also provide 350,000 jobs nationwide with relatively high pay and have transformed eating habits in a nation accustomed to a less-than-ideal diet of rice and beans and canned goods from Eastern Europe.
I think there might be a lesson here if we choose to learn it.
Organic farming is on the rise here in the U.S., mainly because the profits for organically grown products has soared through the roof during the last few years. However that's taking a very narrow view of the overall impact that agriculture and the production of food has on the economy and our health.
With fertilizer use suspected of helping create oceanic dead zones, the still under examined role pesticides and their impact on human health, genetic modification of plants and seeds restricting countries abilities to produce and control their own food supply, and the sheer amounts of petroleum needed to produce food and get it to market, the agricultural sector in this country has long moved from the idealized "family farm" into the realm of big business. Really big business, much of it subsidized.
Most food is not produced anywhere close to where it's consumed, which is one of the reasons the increase in the price of gasoline has marched in lockstep with a corresponding increase in the price of food. Ultimately, like many other aspects of our economy, its unsustainable, and though the mounting global food crisis has yet to reach our shores, can it be that far off?
I don't know, but I do know there are plenty of open areas here in Houston, and I do have a backyard, so...