Food on the table, humanity’s ever-increasing battle

Food security, hungry people, ineffective government, supermarkets monopolies and not buying local, failures of small farmers – these are bigger issue, but less newsworthy than who heads up an extortionist soccer empire or what cellphone to buy next – and other issues that were in yesterday’s papers headlines. I usually prefer to read these mindless and remote stories than about issues that are painful – like where does our food come from and where does our common humanity begin – while criticizing Arab leaders we are immune to how our own local daily actions in supporting big business or preferring food and products moved around the globe to making sure local entrepreneurs and possible farmers gain support and opposing the relentless march of giant corporations that overwhelm governments and threaten local producers and smaller marketers. Here is a positive ending to this negative tirade – I believe we should voice our dissatisfaction and pause over our cup of organic coffee to think what we can do to help – even if its just to talk about them with our friends, business associates and to consider….By DONALD PAUL on Daily Maverick

The price of food continues to rise and will do so for the next 10 years. The reasons include increased fuel prices, the role of market speculators and a combination of political malfeasance and administrative ineptitude. The result, however, is certain: More people will go to bed hungry every night.

In a panel discussion on land reform the chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on rural development and land reform Stone Sizani countered the argument that farming the land should have priority over restitution where the land claimants do not continue farming (or fail), and dismissed the notion that food security was an issue in South Africa.

Sizani’s response highlights the complexity of food security. While his statement is correct—SA does produce enough food—it overlooks the fact that a significant number of individuals go to bed hungry. This is largely due to poverty, unemployment and issues of distribution and accessibility. Continue reading