The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five weeks alone, and it’s estimated that food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years.
People in the West, including the United States, may need to eat less meat and consume or waste less food, analysts say. Experts have also called for a reexamination into the production of biofuels, which is said to destroy forests and take up land available to grow crops for food.
Unrest over the food crisis has led to deaths in Cameroon and Haiti. It has cost Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis his job, and caused hungry textile workers to battle with police in Bangladesh.
It is rapidly becoming clear that massive changes in our food supply system are desperately needed. In the recent past, we have seen terrifying problems with production, procession, and supply -- ranging from tainted food, to the food shortages detailed in the article, which are leading to riots and starvation.
In addition to the measures proposed above, one of the most commonly proposed solutions to the food crisis is the genetic modification of crops. That is, in fact, exactly the opposite of what should be done. While the supposed motive behind GM food is an altruistic one -- to alleviate hunger, poverty and malnutrition worldwide -- the reality is that GM crops are intended to swell corporate coffers more than anything else.
What’s more all that tinkering with Mother Nature comes at a heavy price: The creation of Frankenstein-like crop combinations that can harm your health.
In spite of what you have likely heard, a large shift to organic agriculture -- which by definition is non-GM -- could not only protect and improve the environment, but help end world hunger too. A recent Danish study cited recent models of an organically grown, global food supply to show that a more environmentally friendly approach to agriculture is capable of producing enough food for the world's current population.
What prevents many farmers from making the move to organic is that crop yields could initially drop as much as 50 percent in the very beginning, before evening out over time. However, that problem may be mitigated somewhat, because farmers wouldn't need to dole out precious money for toxic pesticides that can create so many devastating health problems.
While you’re waiting for the rest of the world to catch up, take advantage of local sources as often as you can for your organic foods. And you can avoid GM foods by:
- Reducing or Eliminating Processed Foods. Some 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients.
- Read produce and food labels. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.
- Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified.
- Look at Produce Stickers. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.