UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

Percentage of national population suffering fr...

Percentage of national population suffering from malnutrition, according to United Nations statistics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the most pressing concern we ALL have right now. Your financial budget (household or corporate),your ability to travel, your investments… all these things and more will change and be stressed as people the world over struggle with food price and/or availability.

Read more here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/14/un-global-food-crisis-warning

I know that for many of us in North America (who are well fed)  this is hard to digest (pun in tended… though it is no laughing matter.) It is a big challenge with numerous points of impact. The impacts on our daily lives will be both indirect and direct. For example:

  • The price of meat will be noticeably higher.
  • The “Future Shops” of the world will experience a noticeble decline in sales, leading to lower stocks and lay offs.
  • Local and provincial governments will find their social programs oversubscribed, leading to fiscal challenges.
  • School teachers and administrators will be faced with additional challenges as children lack proper nutrition (low quality foods high in sugar and salt will be favored due to lower cost).
  • Your federal government will face pressure to redirect funds from Canadian-centric programs, to international aid and development (and probably refugee programs), meaning cuts to things like Environmental monitoring.

So what can you or I do? How do we prepare?

  1. Supporting a local food system is one thing we can all do directly. This includes planting your own garden, or getting involved in local agriculture or community gardens.
  2. Support organizations such as Oxfam, which deliver aid to nations most directly impacted.
  3. Support initiatives and organizations that enhance community cohesion, with your time or money.

This third point is critical – the more connected and engaged people are with their communities (the places where they live) the more responsive and nimble we can be in addressing socio-economic challenges that food insecurity will induce.

Every community/neighborhood has  unique circumstances and unique opportunities to create wellness for the people that live there. This is the case with or without food insecurity… but under stress, those opportunities become more visible and valuable.

Organizations like Transition Towns, and an initiative such as Transition Streets is a good example of real action that is demonstrating good results today. About Transition Streets:

We all need to find ways to save money and reduce our energy use these days. And thankfully, on a Transition Street, the two go hand in hand. A Transition Street is a place where neighbours have reduced their household costs and their energy use. It is a place where people are taking steps to transition toward greater self-reliance, at the same time as they are finding ways to live in balance with the world’s diminishing resources. And they are doing it together.

I’ll likely expand on examples of this in future posts… but until then, if you have other suggestions for how we can all prepare for food shortage impacts, I’d love to read about them in the comments section below.

To a new world waiting,

HB

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