We often talk about local food being good for our health and our farmers; John Robb of Global Guerrillas, a site that normally talks about war and defense, gives a good reason why really local farming, i.e. right in cities and suburbs, is important: national security.
"Our collective food supply is one of the most centralized, and vulnerable, systems on our (now mostly urban) planet. Not only is the production accomplished by a tiny minority of the population (less than 3% in the US) and reliant on a small number of generic crops (particularly corn), the resources necessary to produce it -- from arable land to energy to water -- are in short supply. This implies that the following factors will cause a shift from centralized to decentralized local farming:Hard disruptions. Shortage. For example, global demand drains domestic markets of available supplies (we've seen this recently). Pandemic, pestilence, severe energy shock, etc.
Soft disruptions. Affordability. Availability. Transportation becomes increasingly expensive. Prices gyrate upwards. Minor disruptions from tainted supplies to terrorism to brown outs.
Income generation. A need to generate extra income due to depleted opportunity and income (the income of the average person in the US hasn't seen any growth since 1974 and globalization may put the remainder at risk).
The a return to local agriculture within suburban and urban environments won't be a redux of amateur gardening nor will it be done on local traditional farms (mostly, long since paved over). Instead it will feature high tech, intense, and energy efficient efforts on clusters of small plots. In short, it will buffer families from the risk of soft and hard disruptions as well as provide an opportunity for income generation." ::Global Guerrillas via ::the Ecolibertarian
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