Policy Largely Abandoned More Than 20 Years Ago Shows New Interest – But is it too Late?
Almost 100 Million World Wide on the Verge of Starvation Now! Food and Water Control By Mega Corporations are Policies of Greed and Have No Interest In Humanity. Hundreds of Millions of People May Starve To Death in the Coming Decades.
How this happened.
We all remember the 1950’s. The U.S. was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. The fear of nuclear conflict propelled the American Government to have a huge Strategic Food Reserve. It was said to have a 7 year supply of grain. No matter what happened, we would be able to feed our population. But that policy faded out with the Cold War and pressure from big Agricultural Corporations who pushed through laws in Congress to end the somewhat expensive strategic storage of food and replace it with a policy of big farmers getting paid NOT to grow food. We have all read the stories over the years of sharks and corporations who made a living buying up land and getting paid to NOT grow some crop. The argument was that a big strategic food reserve would not be good for the “free market” mechanism, so it was largely abandoned, as were other things like Civil Defense.
Things May Be Changing
But things may be changing. Recent decades of natural disasters in this country and around the world have some policy makers re-thinking the need for massive food reserves to deal with these situations. A 2012 report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy had this to say:
Why food reserves are making a comeback
The food crisis highlighted the inadequacies of relying on the market as the only strategy to address increasing uncertainty and volatile prices in agricultural markets. In addition to the age-old reasons mentioned above, which still hold true, there has been a marked renewal of interest in grain reserves for other reasons, including: countries’ concern to maintain at least a minimal level of food security; the increasing incidence of food emergencies (linked to climate change, water scarcity, wars and natural disasters); the uncertain commitment to global markets exhibited by several key agricultural exporters during the most recent food crisis; and, the failure of the private sector to meet public needs in relation to stockholding and stock management.
In the face of uncertain production, not least linked to climate change, governments need to support local and regional food production strategies. A reserve can create a kind of guaranteed market that encourages investment in agricultural production and distribution systems. They can encourage innovation, including adaptation strategies in the face of climate change. Food security depends on a healthy mix of trade and own production; many of the poorest countries are far too dependent on uncertain imports to protect their people from hunger. Reserves can be part of the solution.
At least some policymakers are discussing this issue, but can they push these reforms through Congress and the Obama Administration soon enough to at least provide food security for America? This is a big question. Until a disaster takes place, people don’t want to think about preparation. The weird thing is that going back to ancient times food storage for emergencies was something that was taken for granted by nearly all the old civilizations. Except maybe for Ghengis Khan, who’s strategy was just to steal it from others.
In light of this situation we strongly urge our readers to get busy with their own back-yard food production immediately. If you don’t have a back yard, then use the bucket system to grow some food on your balcony. See also the innovative “nomadic food garden” idea at www.gypsycool.com. We also need to urge the U.S. Government to stop these insane wars they have pushed around the world. They have made things many times worse, interrupting or destroying local food production, and in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, polluted the land with so-called “depleted” uranium. We need the war money for peaceful purposes and to encourage local farming world-wide.
It’s Time For the U.S. To Create A Food Corps
We don’t need to keep hundreds of thousands of military personnel stationed on bases around the world. We need to augment the Peace Corps with a Food Corps. We should convert most of these warmongering bases into bases for the education and production of food. Our Food Corps should be dispatched around the world to help local populations to plant food and be self-sustaining. We also need to stop the practice of racketeering corporations who are trying to control the water in undeveloped countries. Holding back water from people is a crime against humanity. How can the world stand by and watch these greedy corporations “buy” the water rights from the shabby governments of poor countries and then withhold the water from a thirsty population? We should be helping these people to dig more water wells, set up massive rain-collection and purification systems, and plan and start big projects in areas such as Africa to transport water from areas that have excess to areas that are in need. Desertification needs to be halted. Crop lands expanded. These are not pipe dreams as far as our technical ability to do them, but we are being held hostage by political forces erecting roadblocks to this being accomplished. How many millions or hundreds of millions of our fellow humans must die before we act?
Website for Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
See Cartoon Bazooka for cute animations of Animals fighting the Corporations Taking Over Water Holes in Africa (Knucklehead the Zebra and the Professor, a wise Elephant, animations. You have to scroll through the site to find these)