Food in the Anthropocene

That’s the title of a new report from a world-class working group of scientists commissioned by EAT, a non-profit that means “to catalyze a food system transformation,” and the venerable British medical journal, The Lancet.  The report is ambitious, offering us nothing less than a global agenda “for healthy diets from sustainable food systems.”

The rationale for this critical report is twofold, first, as far as healthy diets go, we are sorely lacking today:  20% of global deaths are caused by poor diet.  Only smoking exceeds poor diet as a risk factor for premature mortality.  But, Continue reading

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By monoculture, I don’t just mean the production of one crop over vast quantities of land, with all the resultant havoc that that plays on the soil, water, native flora and fauna, and, to be perfectly clear, on the climate system, but I also mean the monomania that is incarnate in Big Ag.  Monomania is a serious disorder, characterized by, according to my dictionary, “excessive concentration on a single object or idea.”  In the case of  much of American farming, that single object is the production of as much corn as possible at the greatest possible return on investment.  The monomania of corn production utterly disregards economic, environmental and social concerns.  The word itself is, to be sure, old-fashioned, but it is nevertheless manifest in how modern society goes about the business of growing our food, feed and, most wastefully of all, our fuel. Continue reading

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