Re: Some startling statistics...(Global Food Production)

>	Some food for thought. And ammunition for the next time you
>hear someone talking about world hunger, and how "there's not enough
>to go around"...

Hi Pat, everyone,

This is indeed an important subject which can polarize people from
differing points of view. I have heard under employed or disenfranchised
people feeling unwanted in the big world scheme of things and this may lead
to a conclusion that our species has crossed a threshold of sustainability
and reproductive intent (over population). That is, that our population
expansionism is distorting the wonderfully harmonious, *qualitative*
potential of our planet.

Agribusiness business may have proven that farming can be evolved with
technology, that new technologies can answer old bulk supply problems. But
at the same time it is reasonable to consider health issues and the growing
counter culture within the dietary and agricultural sciences. This counter
culture "peer reviews" that present American animal- protein consumption
habits present nutritive and political risks.

Growing plants is a small part of the problem compared with pest
management, harvesting, distribution, and global economics.  Hydroponics is
neat, but can be capital intensive, (even monopolistic), when you apply the
promising bio tech methods. It is very hard to compete with agribusiness
and the methods which it powerfully  chooses to produce food. I have long
dabbled with limited home gardening and confess to the way cheaper food
supply of agribusiness. At the same time, since agri business favors "bulk
food" over nutritive quality in food stuffs, i have to buy nutritional
supplements to satisfy my health needs.

This leads me to a cautious conclusion about world populations. And it
teaches me that perhaps the real problem is materialism. Materialism
generally favors quantitative solutions to problems. By contrast,
*qualitative* solutions explore common sense philosophical issues, (and not
just Euro-American, white, male philosophers). My point being that a
*qualitative* study of world population would insist on the bigger picture
of harmony among all species populations as a prerequisite to increasing
human population. (We have already passed the "harmonious" threshold). And
equally important is the quality of human lives which presently is
distorted by the bulk commercialism, and highly materialistic politics of
the powers that be.

My main point is that to speak of world hunger, alone, may irritate people
because any surface answer stabs deeply into cultural wounds. If we have
received much, much is expected of us, and this feeling inevitably
surrounds discussions of world hunger, (or at least for the
disenfranchised peoples who experience the lower end of human fate). The
hunger for meaningfully employed lives exasperates the hunger for food.
How can these hungers be separated, really? Once the www includes more of
the human family, this topic will surface. Prepare.

On the bright side, i would love to explore alternatives to or within
agribusiness. IMHO, a variant of hydroponics was developed ages ago by some
Pre American natives who farmed swamps by planting artificial islands. In
memory of this, some, hybrid, partially hydroponic experiments seek to
include ecosystems with ponds and plumbing to convey nutrients. Leaving
soil out of the picture reduces valuable ecosystems. While i love this
hybrid idea and have built the fish pond and down hill soil beds, other
life concerns have made me a "hungry" job seeker. Attending to plant pests
and weeds has been "impossible" for this sculptor/ inventor/ small town
contractor. And earning my keep has always conflicted with the growing
season. Any one want to co- work with alternative, creative  projects? I've
got some  brain, brawn and  prototypes to offer.

bo atkinson

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