Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We Eat More Than We Grow

I recently read that since about 1999, the world has eaten more food than it has grown, and dug into our remaining food stocks. [Obviously, these roll over from oldest to newest. We don't have meaningful foodstuffs from 1999. Remember to rotate your stock!] This is disconcerting because we are already using most of our arable land for growing crops, and do not have abundant access to new lands for foods.

This seems like a serious population problem if left unchecked, or if left in the hands of the free market. The free market will cause deaths in this scenario eventually, and eventually is soon.

We can get more use out of our existing arable lands by using greenhouses to extend the growing season. We can build greenhouses in other areas too, like the tops of buildings in cities, which has many other benefits.

We could move our growth of non-consumable crops to less excellent land. We still grow a lot of cotton and tobacco, which are worthless crops for eating. Tobacco especially we could simply stop growing worldwide and extend our food supply dramatically. We can also stop fiscally forcing 3rd worlders to grow export crops like coffee and allow them to grow local food instead.

We waste a massive amount of food in this country. Apparently *half* of our food we throw away. That is shameful and corruptfully wrong. We could easily reduce the amount of waste and extend our crop supply without growing a single bushel more than we already do. We can also extend sea and estuary farming substantially and produce less pollution to improve crop exuberance. We should study immunology and plant immune systems more closely to discover how we can help them. We should also use more ecologically friendly pest control measures, as pesticides do not promote plant growth and overfertilization pollutes the environment and waterways and can strip soil of nutrients.


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