The Second Green Revolution

Des Moines, Iowa, USA – In October 2009, the Borlaug Dialogue and the World Food Prize Foundation hosted the annual World Food Prize.  The World Food Prize Laureate is Dr. Gebisa Ejeta of Ethiopia for his discovery of a hybrid species of sorghum that is resistant to drought. 

Windfarm

Windfarm in Iowa equals alternative energy

 Happy Tonics was attending the 13th Annual Community Food Security Coalition Confernce in Iowa in 2009 around the time this event took place. 

The other side of the food issue.  CFSC Confenerce

Sustainabile Food Security Issue CFSC Conference attendees

Bill Gates spoke at the Borlaug Dialogue event.  Bill and Linda Gates Foundation donated a grant of $120 million to the “Second Green Revolution.”

The money is being given to Africa in part to grow drought hardy corn that 300 million Africans are dependent upon.  Gates said the grant will be used in part to train African growers in the science of biotechnology.   You can listen to Bill Gates speech at http://www.worldfoodprize.org/symposium/2009/video/gates.html   

Collaborative efforts are ongoing between Monsanto and the Federal Government and the decision is to allow genetic engineered crops to combat world hunger in developing poor countries.

 Monsanto, with approval of governmental partners including the White House, USDA Secretary Vilsack and Dr. Rajiv Shah, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will seek to plant genetically modified wheat in Africa.  Africa is besieged with environmental threats to their wheat crop due of drought and disease.  Wheat is one of the four most important crops in the world. 

Happy Tonics supports local grown and organic crops.  None the less, the public needs to be aware that GMOs are on the rise in the Global Food System.

Advertisements

Growing Food by Mary Ellen Ryall

Spider web after rain
Spider web after rain copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Take a look at Will Allen.  

He walked away from corporate America and sports sixteen years ago to head up a growing business.  His main goal is to grow soil at his working farm Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  It is all about community gardens and we need to get growing in each community.  Visit http://www.growingpower.org/

When we realize that it takes nearly 1 gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of conventionally fed beef (Mooallem, 2009), we might start to realize we need to support local farmers and grazers.  Meat taste like meat when it is wild harvested or grass fed.  Biofuels made from crops have been responsible for up to 75 percent of the 130 percent increase in global food prices in the past six years (Weltz, 2009).  Food is not fuel and should never be taken out of the mouths of people and diverted to another profit making purpose. 

 It is interesting to note that college campuses across the USA are starting to introduce local grown food right into the cafeteria.  Tim Galarneau, is cofounder of Real Feed Challenge, a national campaign, wants to introduce 1,000 universities and colleges to buy 20 percent of their food by 2020.  Tim will still be actively working long after I retire.  It is good to know that youth are stepping up to the issue now.  Communities need to learn how to grow their own food so they can feed themselves in the future.  Josh Viertel, the 31year-old president of Slow Food USA says, “It’s just this incredible outpouring of energy to do the right thing.”  I feel confident that Tim Galarneau and many other young activists will lead the way to sustainability.

 Are we too little too late?

At the same time we need to keep our eyes open and on global food security and climate stress now that climate change is knocking at Earth’s door.  Please take a few minutes to listen to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaking on Agriculture and Climate Change in the video at http://vimeo.com/8137485

He spoke at Agriculture and Rural Development Day, on 12 December, 2009, a day-long event at the University of Copenhagen with more than 300 policy makers, negotiators, producers and leaders from the agricultural and climate change scientific community.   Unfortunately many believe that genetically engineered crops are a possible solution to end world hunger and the second Green Revolution has begun.  By listening to this video, we are staying informed and hearing about the world’s challenges to these paramount issues.

 Mooallem, J. (2009, March-April).  Veg-o-might.  Mother Jones, 36-37.

Weltz, A. (2009, March-April).  Trouble on the Limpopo. Mother Jones, 44-47.

Viertel, J. (2009, March-April).  Tray chic, Mother Jones, 47.

%d bloggers like this: