Where's the 21st Century Approach to Feeding the World?
The cost of eating is once again in the news—in fact food prices are close to reaching a record high. And while enthusiasts tout everything from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/vertical-farms-food-problems.php">vertical farms to urban aquaponics, it seems like we are yet to see a coherent vision from policy makers about how to feed a growing population. That's what's gotten food expert and academic Tim Lang asking over at The Guardian, where's the 21st Century approach to feeding the world? The problem, he says, will not be fixed by the kind of thinking that created it:
The 20th century squandered scientific possibilities. It created the fiction that ever more food can be produced by tapping oil, throwing fertiliser at seeds, spraying endless water and treating the soil as blotting paper, a neutral medium. We now know how fragile that mix is, and how fragile the Earth's crust and biology are too. Slowly, some of the institutions created over the last 60 years are recognising that political leadership and redirection are needed. The FAO, WHO, Unicef and Unep all collate the food story. Ministers meet, but in silos. The big picture eludes them. Inaction triumphs.