International Food Production - Learning Circle Presentation Fall 2010
International Food Production<br />Jenna Goodhand (Coordinator), Emily James, Renjie Butalid, Simon Mirroh Ndoh,Rhey Haggerty, Maria de Jesus Mirafuentes Gonzalez, Helena Glackin<br />
Introduction<br />In 2008, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization asserted that the world will need to produce 100% more food by 2050, and 70% of that food must come from efficiency-enhancing technologies.<br />“On the demand side of the food equation are three consumption-boosting trends: population growth, the growing consumption of grain-based animal protein, and most recently, the massive use of grain to fuel cars. On the supply side, several environmental and resource trends are making it more difficult to expand food production fast enough.”<br />Nearly 1 billion people around the world go hungry each year. As population soars and climate change worsens, the world’s food producers will need to produce food more efficiently.<br />One out of seven people are “food insecure.” Food security is threatened by declining water supplies and arable land, and increased demand for food, water, and energy.<br />Behind the scenes of international food production is the agricultural labor force. Plagued by pesticide exposure, low wages, unjust working conditions, and backbreaking labor, their exploitation goes largely unnoticed as food production becomes increasingly globalized.<br />Lester R. Brown, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization<br />“Plenty to Think About: The thinking person’s guide to feeding a hungry planet”<br />Professor John Beddington: “UK Warning Over Global Food Security”<br />
Overview<br />Food Production in Mexico<br />Environmental Consequences of Industrialized Beef Production<br /> Soil Degradation and The Impact of Food Production in Northern Ireland<br />How Ethanol Production Contributes to Global Hunger<br />Inequality Caused by Food: Facts About Immokalee Farm Workers<br />Insights<br />
Food Production in Mexico<br />By<br />María de Jesús Mirafuentes González<br />
Green Revolution<br /><ul><li>Since 1950, agricultural production in Mexico has been increasing steadily at a rate that far exceeded the very significant increase in the population.
This increase was achieved mainly without putting new land under cultivation, but by increasing the yield per area, that is getting more output per hectare cultivated. This is what is called green revolution.</li></li></ul><li>Consequences<br /><ul><li>The two most important are:</li></ul>Environmental damage <br />The large amount of energy that should be used in this type of farming: Fuel is needed to move the tractors and other agricultural machinery; to build dams, canals and irrigation systems energy is consumed; to produce fertilizers and pesticides is required petroleum; to transport and trade across the world agricultural products are consumed fuels fossils. <br /><ul><li>It is often said that modern agriculture is a gigantic system of energy conversion, mainly oil, into food.</li></li></ul><li>Fertilizers and Pesticides<br /><ul><li>Mexico uses 60% of 22 fertilizers marked as damaging for Health and Environment.
From 90 pesticides that have been restricted in the US, 30 are used in Mexico. (INEGI)</li></ul>Forbidden pesticides in other countries that are authorized in Mexico<br />
Fertilizers and Pesticides<br /><ul><li>According to the Health Secretary in Mexico, 80% of the 300 thousand cases of pesticide intoxications registered every year in the world occur in countries of the third world.</li></ul>Epidemiologic Vigilance System<br />
<ul><li>Agricultural fertilizers pollute coastal ecosystems with excess nutrients, creating hypoxic “dead zones” that reduce habitat, lower biodiversity and impact fisheries.</li></ul>Veracruz Reef Zone<br />
Food Trade<br /><ul><li>Mexico currently swings between trade deficit and trade surplus.
An ongoing trend within Mexico is the import/export dilemma, which in turn drives their vegetable production industries.</li></li></ul><li>Migration<br /><ul><li>Huge influx of people migrating into large urban areas, leaving rural populations in decline.
The staple foodstuffs of Mexico such as corn, beans and rice continue to be produced locally, but as populations swell in the urban areas, imports are growing twice as fast as exports.</li></li></ul><li>Economy<br /><ul><li>Dramatic price fluctuations for agricultural commodities for export as well for local consumption.
Mexico’s economy can not keep food commodity prices high enough to continue to support the peasant farmers. Coffee, tomatoes, tropical and specially winter crops are grown by a few large companies expressly for the export market.</li></li></ul><li>Economy<br /><ul><li>A direct relationship between Mexican oil production and food production. As modern Mexico’s primary income has been hinged to oil revenues, which in turn have helped to finance their agricultural programs.</li></ul>Mexico’s oil production<br />
Economy<br /><ul><li>Recently, as a result of the hurricane season, Mexico’s agricultural economy has been devastated by natural phenomena</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>More than 43 thousand hectares of Veracruz area were affected by floods in the north and south of the state, damaging crops of corn, wheat, barley and sorghum, said the delegate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), Carlos Alberto Hernández Sánchez.
He added that owners of these crops will be supported through the Catastrophe Insurance and Climatological Emergency Care Program: “every damaged hectare is paid, 900 mexican pesos in annual crops and 2500 to perennials."</li></li></ul><li>Economy<br /><ul><li>The National Forestry Commission (Conafor) indicated that, besides being countless, it will take at least 10 years to restore the damage to tropical ecosystems such as mangroves, caused by Hurricane Karl.</li></li></ul><li>This is not enough anyway, don’t you think?<br />
Promises…<br />Climate Change<br /><ul><li>The government of Veracruz, as part of efforts to counter the acceleration of climate change, implement an action plan that includes all the measures to be applied, such as the creation of a vehicle emissions testing program and a state system of protected natural areas.
This was reported in the Eighth National Congress in order to Climate Change Summit 16.</li></li></ul><li>Environmental Consequences of Industrialized Beef Production<br />Renjie Butalid<br />Institute for Social & European Studies<br />Kőszeg, Hungary<br />Fall 2010<br />
Overview<br />According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, current global meat consumption is at approximately 280 million tons per year1; this figure is expected to double by 2050 when the world’s population is expected to reach 9.8 billion.2<br />In this part of the presentation, we will focus our discussion on the industrialized production and consumption of beef in North America, and its subsequent environmental effects through the continued proliferation of concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms.<br />
Industrialized Beef Production in North America<br />According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2009, approximately 56.1 million metric tons of beef were consumed globally, with the largest consumers of beef in the world being the United States, followed by the European Union, Brazil and China.3<br />However, in per capita terms4, <br /> - Argentina is the largest consumer of beef at ~65.6 kgs of beef per person per year<br /> - United States is 3rd at ~40.7 kgs of beef per person per year<br /> - Canada is 6th at ~31.7 kgs of beef per person per year<br /> - Mexico is 8th at ~24.1 kgs of beef per person per year. <br />Since the 1950’s, this increase in meat consumption globally has been encouraged by the proliferation of concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms, with some 80 percent of growth in the livestock sector coming from mass industrial production systems that consume vast amounts of feed and energy.5<br />
Factory Farms & Cattle Feed<br />These factory farms are large, high-density facilities where hundreds to thousands of cattle are confined in small spaces and fed mainly on a diet of grains. These grains range from cereal grains like corn, barley and wheat, to legume, hays (clover, soybeans, alfalfa) and grass hays (coastal Bermuda, fescue and blue grass); 6 all with the purpose of reducing costs for the producers through the achievement of economies of scale.<br /><ul><li>Since cattle in these factory farms are often confined in very tight spaces, drugs, which include antibiotics, are often mixed in with the cattle supply feed and water, to promote growth and to keep the cattle from getting sick.</li></ul>Photo credit: http://www.epa.gov/region7/water/cafo/index.htm<br />
The continued use, or misuse of antibiotics such as Cephalosporins as growth promoters, not only in cattle farms but in poultry and pork farms as well, has led to a dramatic increase in the resistance of antibiotics among people in North America, Europe and Asia.7 These antibiotics are important to us because they have the ability to knock out a wide range of hard-to-treat human ailments such as urinary tract infection and pneumonia. If we are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotic drug treatment because of the food we eat, this poses a huge public health risk for us all. 8<br />Photo credit: http://animalblawg.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/missouri-court-of-appeals-keeps-friends-close-and-cafos-closer/<br />
In the beginning of the 20th century, most animals were pasture-raised on family farms. However, by 2003, 82 percent of the cattle in the United States alone were produced by just four industrial producers.9 Some of the main underlying factors behind this transition from small family farms to large agribusiness producers, include the development of nitrogen fertilizers as well as the availability of cheap corn made plentiful by government subsidies that guaranteed a set price for corn.10<br />At a time when land for grazing and feed crop production occupies roughly 30 percent of the land surface of the planet, the continued proliferation of these concentrated animal feeding operations will ultimately lead to direct competition for already scarce land, water and other natural resources, not to mention the negative environmental consequences arising, from loss of biodiversity and deforestation, to the acidification of terrestrial ecosystems and emissions of greenhouse gases.11<br />
Environmental Consequences of Industrialized Beef Production<br />Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss<br />As previously mentioned, land used in agricultural production occupies approximately 30 percent of the planet’s land surface. As meat demand increases worldwide, including the demand for beef, even more forests will be cleared for additional livestock activity and crop production. As a serious consequence, native species are being pushed out of their habitat and biodiversity is being lost.12<br />Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16725630@N00/1524189000/<br />
Depletion of Water Resources<br />Aside from deforestation and loss of biodiversity, there is also the serious issue of water depletion as a result of continued industrialized beef production. Approximately 2,500 gallons of water are required to produce a pound of beef, compared to 22 gallons to produce a pound of tomatoes.13 This figure takes into account the amount of water needed to harvest the grain to be fed to the cattle, the water the cattle need to drink, as well as the water required at slaughter.<br />Major Contributor to Greenhouse Gas Emissions<br />According to a report published by the UN FAO in 2006, livestock production causes 18 percent of all global manmade greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all transportation services combined.14This figure takes into account the fossil fuels required in feed production; carbon dioxide emissions from forests cut down for additional livestock activity and crop production; carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation of animal products; and nitrous oxide and methane emissions from cattle belching and manure.<br />
Air and Water Pollution<br />Livestock raised in factory farms, including cattle, produce an enormous amount of manure most of which is stored in large manure holding lagoons. The runoff of this waste into surface and groundwater has contaminated drinking water in many areas across North America; some manure lagoons have also given way, sending millions of gallons of raw waste into streams and estuaries.15The runoff of manure, which contains nitrogen and phosphorus, eventually reaches larger water bodies where they can cause eutrophication, the proliferation and ensuing death of algae robbing the the water of oxygen, creating dead zones where no living creatures can survive.16<br />Left: Aerial view of working hog manure holding lagoon in Iowa, USA.<br />Photo credit: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/indiana-taxpayers-clean-up-abandoned-manure-lagoon.php<br />
Are there sustainable alternatives?<br />Given all of the negative environmental consequences surrounding concentrated animal feeding operations, do sustainable alternatives exists?<br />The answer is yes, sustainable alternatives to the industrialized production system of beef do exist, such as smart pasture operations (SPOs) producing pasture-raised beef.17<br />In fact, the demand for pasture-raised beef is growing in the US, as is the demand for pasture-raised milk and cheese products.18<br />Photo credit:<br />http://organicgarden.blogspot.com/2010/03/grass-fed-cows-save-earth.html<br />
Smart pasture operations take advantage of low-cost grass grown on carefully managed pastures, requiring less maintenance, energy, pesticides, and water than industrial beef production. The smaller amount of manure produced also fertilizes the land, avoiding water and air pollution. Grass-fed cattle are also healthier and more genetically diverse, helping to prevent the spread of disease. In addition, grass-fed beef is healthier to eat; grass-fed beef and dairy products have less total fat and higher levels of good omega-3 fatty acids compared to those from animals fed a grain diet.19<br />And finally, on an individual consumer level, one way that we can reduce the environmental impact of the industrial production of livestock, is to simply reduce our meat consumption, as recommended by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.20 In addition, according to researchers at the University of Chicago, if Americans were to reduce their meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would be as if everyone switched from a standard sedan to an ultra-efficient hybrid vehicle.21<br />
References<br />1 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “Meat and Meat Products,” Food Outlook, June 2008.<br />2 UN FAO – Food Needs and Population http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0262e/x0262e23.htm<br />3 USDA Economic Research Service http://www.ers.usda.gov/news/BSECoverage.htm<br />4 Marfrig Group Meat Sectorhttp://www.mzweb.com.br/marfrig/web/conteudo_en.asp?idioma=1&tipo=5911&img=2904&conta=44<br />5 European Commission Green Week – 2.9 Biodiversity and meat consumption http://ec.europa.eu/environment/greenweek/session/29-biodiversity-and-meat-consumption.html<br />6 Lawrence, John et al., Beef Feedlot Systems Manual Iowa Beef Centre, Iowa State University 2006<br />7 Miller McCune Playing Chicken with Antibiotic Resistance August 2009 http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/playing-chicken-with-antibiotic-resistance-3533/<br />8 The Pew Charitable Research Trusts Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Animals and Unnecessary Human Health Risks http://www.saveantibiotics.org/resources/PewHumanHealthEvidencefactsheet7-14FINAL.pdf<br />9 Cassuto, David N. “The CAFO Hothouse: Climate Change, Industrial Agriculture and the Law” Animals & Society Institute Policy Paper 2010<br />10 Ibid<br />11European Commission Green Week – 2.9 Biodiversity and meat consumption http://ec.europa.eu/environment/greenweek/session/29-biodiversity-and-meat-consumption.html<br />
References (continued)<br />12 Ibid<br />13 Robbins, John. 2,500 Gallons All Wet? EarthSave Healthy People Healthy Planet http://www.earthsave.org/environment/water.htm<br />14 UN FAO, Livestock’s Long Shadow, Environmental Issues and Options (Rome: 2006)<br />15Indiana Taxpayers Pay to Clean Up Abandoned Manure Lagoon May 2009http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/indiana-taxpayers-clean-up-abandoned-manure-lagoon.php<br />16 Gurian-Sherman, Doug – CAFOs Uncovered – The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations Union of Concerned Scientists April 2008<br />17 Union of Concerned Scientists Pasture-based Questions FAQhttp://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/solutions/smart_pasture_operations/greener-pastures-faqs.html<br />18 National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Cattle Production: Considerations for Pasture-based beef and dairy Producers 2006<br />19 Union of Concerned Scientists Pasture-based Questions FAQhttp://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/solutions/smart_pasture_operations/greener-pastures-faqs.html<br />20 UN says eat less meat to curb global warming The Guardian UK September 2008http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/07/food.foodanddrink<br />21Eshel, Gidon and Pamela A. Martin. Diet, Energy and Global Warming Earth Interactions Volume 10 (2006)<br />
Soil Degradation and The Impact on Food Production in Northern Ireland<br />Rhey Haggerty<br />Derry, Northern Ireland<br />
Overview<br />Soil and it’s role in food production<br />Soil degradation and diminishing arable land<br />The agriculture industry in Northern Ireland<br />The implication of soil degradation in Northern Ireland<br />Solutions and resulting debates in Northern Ireland<br />
Soil and Food Production<br />Many are not aware of the role that fertile soil plays in producing high quality food. Due to growing concern, there has been an increase in research in recent years, and most farmers are now more aware of the impact that soil managements has on production and of the implications of soil fertility decline on a sustainable future for agriculture.<br />The development of soil science in the 1960s played in important role in increasing agricultural productivity. The feeding of a growing population is largely dependent on crop production.<br />Our food security depends on responsible attention to nutrient management today. Crop yield increases since the 1960s were made possible by improved soil conditions and awareness of physical and chemical soil degradation.<br />Alfred E. Hartemink: “Soil science and the capacity to feed the world”<br />Adrian M Johnston: “Nutrients in Soil and Nutrients for Food Production”<br />
Soil Degradation and the Decrease of Arable Land<br />“Soils are a public good which provide natural resources, such as food, and ecosystem ‘services’ such as support for wildlife and transformation of pollutants.” Because many soils are privately owned, effective regulations is necessary to protect them.<br />Soil degradation involves both the physic erosion and the reduction in quality of topsoil, including nutrient decline and contamination.<br />Soil degradation can be the result of:<br />Physical degradation: Soil erosion can occur by wind or water. It is a natural process, accelerated by human activity. It is effectively irreversible.<br />Chemical degradation : Pollutants are washed by rainfall into the soil and from soil into watercourses. Soil quality can be affected by building waste and soils may become contaminated by heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and pathogens. Construction effectively seals the soil surface and reduces its capacity to store water, exacerbating flooding. <br />Biological degradation: Biodiversity and organic matter declines due to erosion and pollution, leading a reduction in soil’s agricultural functions.<br />Overgrazing : Excess numbers of cattle, sheep, and goats remove vegetation and destroy the protective crust of soil formed by rainfall that naturally checks wind erosion. <br />Deforestation: The successive clearcutting of forests causes “ heavy soil losses until the forest regenerates.”<br />Climate and land use change: Climate change leads to seasonal extremes of rainfall, exacerbating the factors listed above. Drier summers increases wind erosion damage as it causes soil to dry out. These changes in soil temperature and moisture will speed up the decomposition of organic material, reducing the amount of carbon in the soil and increasing emissions to the atmosphere.<br />Lester R. Brown, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization<br />Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: “UK Soil Degradation”<br />
Soil Degradation and the Decrease of Arable Land<br />The more soil that is eroded, the further the productivity of land falls. <br />Soil conservation tools include conservation tillage, or “minimum tillage.” By simply drilling seeds directly through crop residues into undisturbed soil, soil erosion is significantly reduced, water is retained at higher rates, soil carbon content increases, and the energy required for tilling is saved.<br />The protection of carbon content in soil contributes to increased levels of organic matter, significantly raising soil productivity.<br />Simply “restoring the earth’s tree and grass cover, as well as practicing conservation agriculture, protects soil from erosion [and] reduced flooding.”<br />Soil issues have in the past been fragmented at policy level, and only recently have they been brought together in a consistent framework at the level of local governments to address degradation. Soils are still a secondary issues in many urban and rural land policies addressing food production, pollution, and water quality.<br />Lester R. Brown, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization<br />
Agriculture in Northern Ireland<br />Agriculture is an important industry in Northern Ireland. It provides employment for almost 60,000 people, and is worth more than £1 billion per year to the economy. In 1994, Northern Ireland derived a greater percentage of its GDP from agriculture than almost any region in the UK (except East Anglia).<br />A large portion(79.8%) of land in<br />Northern Ireland is currently cultivated<br />for grazing, crops, fruit, and forestry.<br />Current trend: The number of farms in<br />Northern Ireland has been decreasing <br />since the 1980s, while the size of farms <br />have actually increased. This trend is<br /> similar to the rest of Ireland, where small <br />farmers have been squeezed out of the<br />market by multinational farming <br />corporations. The average farm size now<br />is larger that 100 acres.<br />CAIN Web Service: “Background Information on <br />Northern Ireland Society—Agriculture”<br />
Implications for Northern Ireland<br />The current population of Northern Ireland is 1.685 million. It is estimated to reach 1.8 million by 2011. The world’s population has grown from two billion in 1930 to 6.8 billion now, with nine billion projected by 2050.Coupled with these environmental crises, the world’s capacity to feed the growing population is rapidly diminishing, and the need to protect our soil is increasingly important.<br />Currently, 2.2 million tons of topsoil is eroded in Northern Ireland each year and 17% of arable land shows signs of erosion. The rate of soil degradation estimated at 0.1-0.3 tons per hectare per year, has been steadily increasing for the past 200 years due to intensive farming and industrial pollution.<br />Under the EU Framework Directive, the UK government is obliged to examine inland and coastal waters to ensure that the the water is of “good ecological status” by 2015. Chemical pollution in soil has directly led to the contamination of over 80% of rivers, over 50% of lakes, around 25% of estuaries and coasts and 75% of groundwater.<br />BBC: Richard Black, “Global population study launched by Royal Society.”<br />Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: “UK Soil Degradation”<br />The Guardian: John Vidal, “Loss of soil threatens food production, UK government warns ”<br />
Implications for Northern Ireland<br />Organic matter, which is vital to the physical, chemical, and biological functioning of soil, is a major factor in determining crop yield. Around 25% of organic matter present in arable topsoil in 1980 has been lost. Experts consider the amount of the organic matter in some soil is reaching such low levels that crop production will not be sustainable in the future.<br />Northern Ireland soils contain around 10bn tons of carbon. Under threat from climate change, mining, and poor land management, “losing this [carbon] store to the atmosphere would create emissions that are equivalent to more than 50 time the UK’s current annual greenhouse gas emissions.”<br />Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affair's chief scientist Bob Watson, explains that safeguarding soil is “critical” if food production is to increase in the next 20-30 years.<br />BBC: Richard Black, “Global population study launched by Royal Society.”<br />Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: “UK Soil Degradation”<br />The Guardian: John Vidal, “Loss of soil threatens food production, UK government warns<br />
Solutions in Northern Ireland <br />Because the numbers of professional soil scientists in the UK has declined in conjunction with the loss of soil science departments, “investment is clearly needed in training soil scientists to meet these future challenges.”<br />Because the role of soil in urban areas has not received as much attention in recent years as rural soil, the UK government has increased focus on urban soil degradation in recent years. To replace some function lost from degraded soil, the government is committed to the sustainable use and protection of urban soil, such as:<br />Tightening the planning system to make developers take soil into account<br />Maximizing the use of construction, demolition, and excavation waste through screening to separate aggregates and soils that can be recycled<br />Using permeable paving and vegetated—usually grassed—roofs in new buildings, increasing water storage and reducing urban flooding potential<br />To protect rural soil, the UK government encourages farmers to put more organic matter back into soil though the efficient use of nitrogen-free fertilizers.<br />Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: “UK Soil Degradation”<br />The Guardian: John Vidal, “Loss of soil threatens food production, UK government warns”<br />
Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations of N. Ireland<br />The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), a devolved Northern Ireland government department, released the Regulations to protect agricultural land and preserve the landscape for future generations.<br />The Regulations mean that famers must gain DARD’s consent before carrying out certain kinds of work on their farms, including projects that physically restructure the land of the farm to increase agricultural productivity of uncultivated land. Examples include physically cultivating soil (ploughing), increasing levels of organic or inorganic fertilizer, sowing seeds, draining lands, or clearing existing vegetation physically or with the use of herbicides.<br />Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: www.dardni.gov.uk/index/countryside/imact-on-the-environment<br />
Screening Process Enforced by the Regulations<br />Farmers must submit an application explaining the projects possible effects on the environment. DARD passes the project unless it is likely to have “significant effects on the environment.”<br />If the plan does not pass, in which case the famer must submit an environmental statement detailing planned action to reduce or avoid significant adverse effects and outlining more environmentally-friendly alternatives to their plan.<br />Current debate between the effectiveness of government action and individual action at farm level:<br />The Northern Ireland Environment Link, a forum and networking body that brings together voluntary organizations to protect and enhance the natural and built environment of Northern Ireland, criticized the EIA (Agriculture) Regulations screening process, stating the it should be required and used proactively as a precautionary principle because “the burden of proof should be on those who claim there will be no significant effects.”<br />The Soil Association, an organization that promotes organic farming, criticized the government's measures as weak. “They [the government] will not put right the huge degradation that our soils have suffered. Organic farming should be acknowledged as a key approach to protect our vital soils.”<br />Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: www.dardni.gov.uk/index/countryside/imact-on-the-environment<br />Northern Ireland Environment Link, Sue Christie: “Public Consultation of New EIA (Agriculture) Regulations”<br />
How Ethanol Production Contributes to Global HungerHelena Glackin<br />Throughout the last few years conflicts keep occurring, on the issue of food as fuel. The extraction of fossil fuel for centuries has resulted in oil depletion. As the depletion of oil continues it creates insecurity within countries. As a result many governments have now turned to other alternatives to help deal with the situation.<br />Here in Ireland and countries such as America and Brazil along with many more have turned to the use of biofuel. Biofuel is food based ,which can be used as fuel .Names of such fuel is Ethanol or Biodiesal. Europe is more concern with biodiesel which is produced from vegetable oil. Ethanol can be produced by fermentation from corn, vegetable oil, sugar cane, soybeans and grains, such as wheat and rice. Ethanol is then mixed with petrol to run cars and trucks. The Grain used to fill a 25 gallon SUV tank with ethanol will feed one person for a year(Brown Lester 2006).More land is now used to grow more food in order to meet the demands that vehicles, not humans are now placing on the food industry as Biofuel is renewable by growing crops So if the food value of grain is less than its fuel value, the market will move the grain into the energy economy(brown Lester 2006).Additional countries are jumping on the inexpensive bandwagon of ethanol as fuel, with distilleries becoming the new land mark and taking over the corn supply. The table below highlights the rapid growth of ethanol production.<br />
Ethanol production endangers food security and raises many ethical questions worldwide.Like the use of land for energy production, this has negative effects on the worlds poor. Globally during the past few years, grains and soybeans food prices have risen dramatically,resulting in products made directly from them such as tortillas, pasta bread, meat, milk and eggs to rise. As a result in increases in food prices developing countries will feel the knock on effect as many spend the margin of their income on these basic commodities. Due to this fact many people in developing countries will go hungry as demands for more fuel in insatiable. With more than 37 countries now facing food hikes many riots have occurred in countries such as Haiti, Egypt, Somalia Indonesia and Senegal. <br />Simply put the stage is being set for a head on collision between the worlds 800 million affluent automobile owners and food consumers.(Brown Lester 2006).<br />The risks involed with food as fuel can lead to all sorts of problems such as political instaibilty and also the spread hunger throughtout the poorest margins of society.There are other alternatives available which need to be introduce immediately.<br />
Lester,Brown.Starving For Fuel:How Ethanol Production Contributes to Global Hunger.The Globalist.2006<br />Lester, Brown.Why Ehtanol Production Will Drive World Food Prices Even Higher in 2008.Earth Policy Institute 2008.<br />http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/rosegrant20080507.pdf.<br />
Inequity Caused By Food<br />Facts About Immokalee Farm Workers<br />Emily James<br />
The Injustices<br />Tomato pickers average a piece rate of about 50 cents for every 32lbs of tomatoes. <br />To earn minimum wage a worker must pick 2.25 tons of tomatoes in a typical 10 hour work day. <br />Farm workers do not have the right to overtime pay, nor the ability to organize and collectively bargain with their employers. <br />
How Farm Workers Are Fighting For Justice…<br />In 1993 workers formed the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (the C.I.W.) The C.I.W. believes that consciousness + commitment = change and focus on community leadership.<br />The major campaigns of the C.I.W. are the Anti-Slavery campaign and the Fair Food Campaign.<br />
The Fair Food Campaign<br />The Fair Food campaign was launched in 2001 with the goal of getting major corporations to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes to increase workers wages.<br />It took four years of pressuring the Taco Bell before the first agreement was signed in 2005. Following this agreements were signed by McDonalds (2007), Whole Foods (2008), Subway (2008), and Burger King (2008). <br />
Who Is Being Targeted Now? <br />The C.I.W is now targeting supermarket and food service industries. The first to respond was Bon Appétit Management Co (2009), followed by Compass Group (September 2009), Aramark (April 2010) and Sodexo (August 2010).<br />
Insights<br />“Securing future food supplies now goes far beyond agriculture In our crowded, warming world, policies dealing with energy, population, water, climate, and transport all directly affect food insecurity.”<br />“Business as usual is no longer a viable option. Food security will deteriorate further unless leading countries collectively mobilize to stabilize population, stabilize climate, stabilize aquifers, conserve soils, protect cropland, and restrict the use of grain to produce fuel for cars.”<br />“Food security is something in which we all have a stake—and a responsibility.”<br />Lester R. Brown, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization<br />