Starving In The Spring

“Thoughts from the Well” observes: Food insecurity is often directly linked to land ownership.


Sullivan’s article is specific to the Middle East severe food security issues.  This is an important article for that region, but also  globally.


The practice of owning large tracts of land for sake of raising animals/crops for export market profits has been around a long time. Enclosure Acts that turned food land to sheep pasture; British colonization in Caribbean for sugar plantations, (which played a role to get slave trade going); and British control of food production land in Ireland (linked in part to disastrous potato famine). Francis Moore Lappe’s “Food First” (co-authored, published early ’70s?) reported on this re famine in Africa (link). At present time, prestigious US university endowment funds are often invested in these purchases, (general practice, scope and consequences, link1); (specific to Harvard’s massive involvement, see link2.)


Results to local populations include (1) a shift in their lives from farmer/operators to farm laborers, (2) (mechanized monoculture practices drive many displaced to cities), and (3) reduced variety of locally available health-giving foodstuffs, which in turn puts (4) pressure on local food prices. Further to mechanized mono-cultural practices, (5) soil is ‘mined’ rather than nourished, (6) irrigation demands divert water to for-export-profit intentions. (7) Transportation and distribution of agricultural products shifts to long-distance delivery infrastructure of locally raised crops.

The Dish


The Arab Spring nations, such as Egypt and Syria, have struggled with food security:

The food import dependence and lack of foreign exchange is all the more worrying as the global food crisis of 2008  [seen above] has shown a diminished reliability of global food markets. Not only did prices skyrocket, some agricultural exporters like Argentina, Russia, and Vietnam announced export restrictions out of concern for their own food security. Naturally this sent shock waves through the Middle East, which imports a third of globally traded cereals.

The oil rich Gulf countries reacted by announcing investments in farmland abroad to secure privileged bilateral access to food production. Only a fraction of these investments has gotten off the ground, yet they have been controversial as they have been mostly announced in developing countries like Sudan or Pakistan that have severe food security issues themselves.

Lily Kuo has more details on the buying…

View original post 94 more words


About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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