For a resilient food supply, we need to keep our specialty farmers farming and we need to make it monetarily worth their while not to sell out. We need to replace abandoned acres of asphalt with small allotments and grow crops.
How many of us have wished we could predict the future? To gaze into a crystal ball and see our fate in fifty years time? A group of agricultural researchers from around the globe are coming together to do just that, and examine the future of our food system.
There is an intrinsic problem with measuring the quality of a system by how well it conforms to what you already believe. Such a system gets bonus points for agreeing with you -- even when you are wrong.
It is clear we also need to embrace technology to enable us to double or triple food production to meet our needs. It may not sound too tasty, but just yesterday a Dutch scientist unveiled what purports to be a hamburger grown in a test tube from bovine stem cells.
Inefficiencies in harvesting, packaging, storing, transporting, marketing and selling, rather than just low yields or poor farming techniques, are often to blame for food shortages and low prices for growers.
Advertisements are plentiful for all kinds of products and supplements that purport to improve longevity or fend off disease. What may be harder to find, however, are ways you can influence these yourself.
The gating factor for huge sustainable change in the food production system, I conclude, isn't the availability of better food production and processing technology, but the perverse subsidies of the agriculture industry.
Chavez's war against hunger has been defeated by seven years of a reckless food policy that causes shortages, involves price controls, central planning and currency manipulation and rewards corruption.