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Comment & Opinion

To avoid ‘Fifth Period’ of famine, political action is needed

To avoid ‘Fifth Period’ of famine, political action is needed

After a twenty-year period in which famine had become all but a distant memory, starving people in several countries around the world began making headlines again over the last year. As reported in Political Geography, if political action doesn’t alter this course the world could be headed into a ‘fifth period’ of famine, warns Elsevier Atlas Award winner Alex de Waal, Executive Director at the World Peace Foundation in Somerville, MA, US. He warns that famine almost always has multiple causes; political factors are chief among them.

The Suburban Peasants’ Revolt

The Suburban Peasants’ Revolt

Cab Davidson is a trained microbiologist, a maker of holograms, and a self-confessed cheapskate. He forages, grows vegetables and fruits, makes soaps and jams, all in an attempt to avoid shopping. In a guest article, he explores how many of us have become the new peasant class, how we may escape little-by-little, and gardening as civil disobedience. How do the things we talk about in Locavore translate to everyday life?

Nearly two billion people depend on imported food

Nearly two billion people depend on imported food

The Earth’s capacity to feed its growing population is limited – and unevenly distributed. An increase in cultivated land and the use of more efficient production technology are partly buffering the problem, but in many areas it is instead solved by increasing food imports. For the first time, researchers at Aalto University have been able to show a broad connection between resource scarcity, population pressure, and food imports, in a study published in Earth’s Future.

Blossoming Hands

Blossoming Hands

That sweet soft scent from an apple tree in bloom is a smell of profound amazement. The garden in which I am stood, is not my own but once a peasant’s. It is not a garden of dreams but a garden from a single dream landscape. The apple tree, placed within this designed and ordered garden, has presented to me that the tree itself is from outside the garden; here is not exactly where it intrinsically belongs. The apple tree and I live in that dream – together. Not a place to escape but a place of real beauty.

Food preservation: a never ending story

Food preservation: a never ending story

When Andy Warhol painted Campbell’s soup cans in 1962, he had been inspired by popular culture and was representing the success of canned food. In fact he was depicting one of the most innovative ways to preserve food at that time.

Humans started preserving food a long time ago, when they discovered that some processes could make food last for longer without getting spoiled or rancid. Drying, salting, smoking, freezing and heating represent some examples.

To fight desertification we need to drive diversity on farms and plates

To fight desertification we need to drive diversity on farms and plates

On this year’s international day to combat desertification, the United Nations urged for more investment in making land more productive to give “a future for farmers to stay resilient on their home ground”.

A few years ago, a study showed that preserving soil quality may significantly reduce migration in rural Kenya. However, as Kenya tackles yet another drought this year, triggering the collapse of maize national reserves and food inflation, things seem to be going the other way.

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