The Global Food Crisis of 2011

Food security and the freedom to decide what we grow and eat are an important part of Cultures of Resistance’s mission. As a result of the brand of globalization we have witnessed over the past several decades, local communities today have less autonomy in choosing what they cultivate and to whom they sell; dwindling crop reserves mean we are less prepared for droughts and other harmful weather events; and devastating soil erosion and oil dependence ensure that food imbalances will worsen if we maintain a food system based on the prerogative of powerful multinational corporations.

One of the organizations that CoR supports as part of its Make Food Not War program is the Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First. (You can view our profile of Food First here.) Recently, best-selling author Raj Patel, former staff analyst and current fellow at Food First, was interviewed on WNYC radio and discussed the shape of the global crisis around food security that we are now facing. In the interview, Patel explains how rampant food insecurity has stuck again, why we are so unprepared to cope with extreme weather events, and what governments must do to prevent these emergencies from regularly occurring.

According to Patel, one in seven human beings now lives in extreme poverty and nearly one billion are undernourished. The combination of the global recession, increasing speculation in food markets, and a misguided demand for biofuels, among other factors, means we cannot uphold the status quo in our agricultural policies. As Patel asks, "Why, when we know the real causes behind the food crisis, does the U.S. continue to support market liberalization . . . rather than the sustainable agriculture that farmers have been demanding?"

Visit Food First's website to learn more about various food issues or click here to see their most recent action alerts!

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