Our federal government’s latest response to the world food crisis echoes that of its predecessor. Sadly, Australia will suffer.
The world food crisis is happening because the bulk of the global food supply is produced by oil-hungry conventional, industrial farming. As peak oil was passed in 2006, the oil supply has started decreasing by 3% per annum. Oil shortages and price rises will continue to accelerate. The world is slipping into a massive, sustained recession.
World food stores are the lowest they have been in thirty years. Australian food reserves are sufficient to feed us for a week! Everyone must start growing food at home to keep healthy.
Why? The last seven out of eight global harvests have failed to produce enough food to feed our rising population. Desertification, Global Warming, dwindling water reserves are part of the problem.
Agrifuels are also guilty, causing food crops to be converted to fuel. ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, calculates that if all Australian farmland were converted to agrifuel production and we stopped eating Australian grown crops, Australia could become 15% self-sufficient in fuel.
Less obvious is the productivity plateau that is occurring worldwide on industrially farmed soils. They have lost their soil organic content and consequently, unlike organic farms, their productivity cannot be sustained. And oil, their source of energy for sowing, pesticides and fertilisers for growing, for transportation, is running out.
Global Warming has crippled the Murray Darling, and with it went 40% of Australia’s home grown fresh fruit and vegetables. The last prime minister suggested we should make up for the shortfall in supply by buying more imported food. The current federal government believes that allowing more US supermarket chains into Australia will mean cheaper food and, miraculously, there will suddenly be more of it.
Today Walmart announced that it will now ration rice sales. This proves that when there is not enough food to go around rationing, not market competition, is one part of the solution. Home food growing is the other part.
Is anybody awake in Canberra? Start a ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign today!
24th April 2008