In this second post, I want to expand further on the subjects I plan to cover and how I plan to cover them.
I will address several broad areas in which action could end world hunger: food waste; misuse of farmland for growing ethanol, animal feed, and non-nutritious high fructose corn syrup (HFCS); the possibilities of urban and suburban food production; and poverty and overpopulation. Each of these can be broken down into things that any individual can do by oneself and things that will require concerted (often political) action. Each can also be broken down into many specific subtopics.
For example, the possibilities of urban/ suburban food production can be broken down into: historical evidence of “victory garden” potential; growing a food garden where your lawn was; growing food on your windowsill or window box or apartment terrace; growing food on your residential apartment building roof; organizing more community gardens; using an industrial building roof for a working farm (which may supply a restaurant or be a Community Supported Agriculture enterprise); keeping bees on a rooftop or raising hens in a backyard; sharecropping arrangements whereby a farmer and a set of suburban homeowners agree to have the farmer grow produce on the owners’ ex-lawns in return for a share of the crop while the farmer makes a profit from selling the rest; associations whereby people with a productive ornamental fruit tree alert others to come help harvest it; foraging in urban and suburban areas… Some of these items would be individual actions while others would require groups of people to organize and enable. Anyone could just decide to grow veggies in their back yard, for example, but in some places zoning or neighborhood association rules would need to be changed to grow food on front yards or to keep small animals. Creating a new community garden requires people to get a group of would-be gardeners together find a site, and get permission to grow there, often from their municipality. But rooftop growing only needs the would-be grower to work with one landlord. And so on.
Similarly, misapplication of farmland includes both the need for political action regarding the Farm Bill, the ethanol mandate, and subsidies for growing animal feed and HFCS. But it also involves the individual action of shifting one’s own diet to a more plant-centric one, including the reasons to do so and tips and recipes for how to do it.
For each broad topic I will therefore oscillate between looking very specifically at what each of us can do ourselves and things people need to band together to accomplish. And since, as those examples suggest, each broad topic has an awful lot of subheadings, I do not expect to run out of material in the foreseeable future.
Since I’ve seen several items about food waste in the last few days, I plan to start nest time with several posts on that subject.
And if you think there’s something I should look at that I haven’t mentioned yet, please leave me a comment.
Louise “Gentle Bee” Quigley