People tend to build next to rivers in order to facilitate trade. The best agricultural land tends to be near rivers. For decades, suburban centres have been making the switch from zoning for agricultural land to zoning for residential. Some residents are even being fined for growing food on their property because some municipal bylaws prohibit it.
We’ve replaced our farmland with lawns. We’ve gone from planting seed for food to planting grass for nothing. We’ve gone from tending our crops to watering our lawns. We’ve gone from harvesting our own winter stores and declaring our independence to cutting the grass on one of our two days off just to keep up appearances. Tending a well-landscaped lawn, flower beds, shrubs and hedges, non-fruit-bearing trees, can be as much work as farming, but the yield is zero. In fact, it turns out to be an enormous time sink, much like entertainment, socializing, and child-rearing. It also turns out be be a circular exercise in recycling compost for no benefit outside the aesthetic.
As a response to this long-term trend, big-agri is developing GMO’s in order to feed the ever growing population. They’re actually making quite a big deal of it, too. There is such a shortage of good farmland, we now need to engineer our food like we should have engineered our spaces.
Even a fruit tree every so often would make an impact on the ever-growing problem of ‘food islands.’ Why should I drive past unused farmland to go buy synthetic vegetables trucked into the tiled mall?
So with the scare-mongering of over-population and the fear-porn of climate change, the two things we can do to increase global yield in food supplies and prevent starvation are: home gardens; and increased atmospheric levels of CO2, but both have fallen into dis-favour. (A solar panel on some rooftops here and there wouldn’t hurt either.) The point is that population is controlled by the availability or scarcity of resources, and it is not the majority poor who control that.
Is there a systemic problem looming? Sterility has needlessly become a very large industry. A very large and damaging industry. See Morgan Spurlock’s “The Truth Behind Toxins“. CNN doesn’t even mention that it is about chemicals, addressing only ‘food’ in the introduction. The common thread throughout most of the show is sterility and cancer. The show starts off with what is probably the most persistent danger, flame-retardants. An honest examination, dis-honestly portrayed. There are many earlier examples of journalism on the topic; most were not widely viewed.
Birth rates are down almost everywhere in the western-world, as cancer rates skyrocket. GMOs are said to have negative effects on fertility and also may ‘transform cells.’ Cleaning products and beauty products also, as it turns out.
Deranged monarchs re-incarnated as merciful diseases do not a sensible solution make.
With food independence comes a better use of our time, money, resources, and health. Perhaps, we should rather think about saving a buck than making one.