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Impending Food Crisis

Time to include food production in the struggle to save the planet from collapsing


Illustration: Maarten van den Heuvel, Unsplash

Pandemics, ruined national economies and climate change in the shape of rampant storms, floods and droughts aside, what really is at stake is the food on our tables. According to Agence France-Presse, and conveyed by Science Alert, hundreds of medical journals have issued a stark warning about declining crop yields caused by temperature rises as well as modern agricultural practices. Global healthcare advisory organization BMJ, publisher of British Medical Journal, states that “Global heating is […] contributing to the decline in global yield potential for major crops, falling by 1.8–5.6% since 1981; this, together with the effects of extreme weather and soil depletion, is hampering efforts to reduce undernutrition.”


Earth Island Journal claims the profit motives of agrobusiness make this decline even worse, saying that “… practically all agricultural systems could produce many more nutrients per acre at no ecological cost if desired.”


It’s not as if agriculture must be totally reinvented. Traditional tilling and planting have for ages secured sustainable use of soil and land. Organic farming is no longer the province of new agers and nutcase hippies if it ever was. Sustainable farming, foresting and maintenance of natural habitats can do for mankind what industrial agriculture fails to achieve.


Time has come for new initiatives in farming and food production, on a scale matching the efforts to bring about renewable energy and carbon emission cuts. The Guardian recently reported that British farmers are setting aside crop land for rewilding, and Indian farmers, while on the one hand fight the inroads of big agrobusiness, also combine new as well as time-honored methods of organic or semi-organic food production.


Better farming, pesticide-free and performed without wasting water or eroding soil, not only plays a vital role in bringing nourishing food to billions of people. It can also provide us with better health, more jobs and be a great benefit to wildlife. It’s time to include food in our climate equations.



Copyright © Jørn Arnold Jensen 2021