dinsdag 18 november 2014

Geography Awareness week: Food of the Future

During Geography Awareness Week (organised by National Geographic), they raise awareness about a geographical topic. This year the theme is  "FOOD of the FUTURE".

Honestly, I do not like to talk with people about what they eat every day, but that does not mean I do not care about food.
In fact, I think every day -in shops, on farms, at my home- about the impact of food.
I think it's important to be in dialogue with yourself and others if what we eat is good for our health, social justice and the environment... and not just "so what did you eat today? Is it delicious?".

I am more aware how important it is to be in control of what you eat. Companies and their engineers are not going to solve the hunger in the world, the social injustice and the environmental crisis; they will only give solutions for problems, but they will not let disappear the roots of these problems.
In fact, I am really scared for many companies, certainly the ones who control seeds, the source of our food, which is the source of our life. Many farmers in whole the world are in huge debts because they do not have access to plants which can procreate, but always have to buy again these genetically modified seeds. Thousands of farmers committed suicide because of their debts, read: their dependence from these companies.

They are not the only persons who are controlled by these companies.
Many companies control the prices of food, and all people who buy their food from the market, are affected by this price. When we talk about food of the future, we should also talk about access, because maybe in some very near future, most of us will not have access to food, because they will not have the money anymore (more jobs will disappear, because of the rationalisation of the economical activities) and they do not know how to grow food.

I get to more and more admiration for skilful, self-sufficient and autonomous people who can make their own food and other important basic products. I think these people do more good to the world than most companies, and I think we can learn more from them than from business leaders and politicians; because these people can teach us how to be free of all this control of food, free of this control of our life.

Some people perceive people who garden as a sign of poverty. I see it is as a sign that you are not a slave, a passive consumer of this society, but are more free than people who are dependent from super market prices. Poverty does not mean you do have money. It means that you do not have a choice, that you are not free.

Apart from the negative perception about self-sufficiency, there are -unfortunately-  also companies and governments who try to have control over anybody, so there are a lot of limiting regulations. So... that's why it is important to lobby for seeds that are not genetically modified for example. That is why I like activists like Vandana Shiva, a leading ecofeminist and one of my big examples. I believe her, because apart from an activist and philosopher, she is also a scientist.

And I believe that many geographers also should talk more about the future of food, because we know the earth the best -the social and environmental aspects, and think how food should be accessible for everyone. Geographers study the problems and the relationship between humans and nature, so in fact, food, which is the most important link between human and nature, is geography.

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