Famine in Horn of Africa is Manmade

Even a Globalist organization like the World Bank has to recognize that famine is a consequence of war and food price speculation. What the report does not say however, is that the very same World Bank sponsors many of the Wars and intervenes in the conflicts for the worse.

Reuters
August 16, 2011

The famine in the Horn of Africa is manmade — the result of artificially high prices for food and civil conflict, the World Bank’s lead economist for Kenya Wolfgang Fengler told Reuters Tuesday.

“This crisis is manmade,” Fengler said in a telephone interview. “Droughts have occurred over and again, but you need bad policymaking for that to lead to a famine.”

Some 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa — including Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti — are affected by the worst drought in decades, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands of people have already died.

Fengler said the price of maize, or corn, was significantly higher in east Africa than in the rest of the world due to controls on local food markets.

“In Kenya, the price for corn is 60 to 70 percent above the world average at the moment,” he said. “A small number of farmers are controlling the market which is keeping prices artificially high.”

The World Bank said Monday its Food Price index increased 33 percent in July from a year ago and stayed close to 2008 peak levels, with large rises in the prices for maize and sugar.

High food and energy prices have stoked inflation pressures around the globe, but the problem has been more acute in developing nations.

“Maize is cheaper in the United States and in Germany than it is in eastern Africa,” said Fengler.

Somalia’s two-decade long war is also seen as exacerbating the famine in the Horn of Africa.

Some 3.7 million Somalis risk starvation in two regions of south Somalia controlled by militant group al Shabaab, which has blamed food aid for creating dependency and blocked humanitarian deliveries in the past.

The group has accused the United Nations of exaggerating the severity of the drought and politicizing the crisis.

Can Indoor Farms Feed Humanity?

Is indoor farming a healthy alternative to the mass production of Genetically Modified Organisms? Given GMO toxicity, will governments adopt indoor farming instead?

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 22, 2011

Depending who you talk to, scientists and trend forecasters believe that in 30 years time, most people will live in urban centers -so much for Arthur C. Clarke’s rural communities prediction-. Also in 30 to 40 years, food will be one of the most, if not the most valuable commodity. The one characteristic that all commodities have in common to make themselves valuable is its scarcity. Diamonds are not valuable because of how easy they can be harvested. Water does not spur conflict because of its transparent color. These two commodities are valuable because overall they are scarce or are becoming scarce.

Scarcity is a trait that diamonds and water are beginning to share with food. The reasons for this varies in different parts of the world, but my educated guess is that the main cause is food price speculation. Given this fact, does it not make sense to look for ways to guarantee food availability for all? Well, not if it is for food speculators to decide. Fortunately, each of us has the power to decide for ourselves.

The next great thing when it comes to food supply is having our own food greenhouses. Food greenhouses can vary in size, and that is one of their beauties. They can be small enough to feed an individual, a family, a small community or a whole city. But greenhouses are not the novelty here. The new great alternative -at least for me- is vertical farming, that is, having our own greenhouses where we can plant our own food in the middle of the city we live in. It is its verticality what gives this kind of farming its charm. Since more and more people decide to move to the large urban centers, and food there is usually less available than, say, the countryside, vertical farming becomes a space efficient, alternative for those who have the space in their homes or communities.

On a personal note, vertical farming is all urban humans need in order to be food independent, much like farmers are in rural areas. But a key point here is that since we have the choice -no matter what the government says- to feed ourselves with our own food, it is a great opportunity to choose healthy food. In other words, clean seeds, clean vegetables and fruit instead of GMO seeds and GMO agricultural products. Depending on what your urgency for food is and where you are located, it is urgent that you go out and scout for clean, organic seeds before they are just a thing of the past. That’s right. With a handful of companies pushing for bans on organic farming and food monopolies, it only makes sense to be food independent while we can. Here is where vertical farming comes in.

Population Growth vs Food Availability

Although many people relate food scarcity to overpopulation and say the planet is running out of food and space, research shows that at current levels, the planet could feed its whole population in an area the size of Texas. Because some researchers believe human population will grow out of control in the next decades, they estimate that there will not be enough food for everyone. However, studies done by organizations like the Population Research Institute show that the world’s population will grow to 9 billion to then stabilize and decrease to a healthy level, naturally. Studies also show that there is currently enough food to feed everyone on the planet.

So why are some researchers and politicians sounding the alarms of overpopulation and food scarcity on the wrong tones? My own research by talking to people in those two groups show that it is a combination of economics, corruption and ignorance. In fact, overpopulation has been profoundly unmasked as a lie and although food scarcity is a problem in many parts of the world, it is not a result of overpopulation, but food price speculation, food monopolies and war.

Going back to Vertical Farming, according to the Spiegel Online, urban agriculture may be a solution to feed more people, in more places in the world. “Agricultural researchers believe that building indoor farms in the middle of cities could help solve the world’s hunger problem. Experts say that vertical farming could feed up to 10 billion people and make agriculture independent of the weather and the need for land. There’s only one snag: The urban farms need huge amounts of energy.”

But despite any snags, people in countries where space is a luxury are already planning and executing vertical farming projects. In South Korea, independent researchers are already cultivating food in indoor greenhouses. “Heads of lettuce are lined up in stacked layers. At the very bottom, small seedlings are thriving while, further up, there are riper plants almost ready to be picked.”

In his book The Vertical Farm, Dr. Dickson Despommier explains how vertical farming may be the solution to world hunger with or without overpopulation.

“An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.”

How does vertical farming compare to traditional outdoor farming. Here is a list of reasons why vertical, indoor farming is an option to be food independent and plant your own fruit and vegetables regardless of whether you have a five story building available for planting or not.

Advantages of Vertical Farming (From TheVerticalFarm.com)

  • Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
  • No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
  • All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
  • VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
  • VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
  • VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
  • VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
    evapotranspiration
  • VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
    parts of plants and animals
  • VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
  • VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
  • VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
  • VF creates new employment opportunities
  • We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
    earth
  • VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
  • VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
    LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
  • VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
    and land for agriculture

Dr. Dickson Despommier believes we are at the doors of another farming revolution. Although this new way of being food independent may not be available to everyone at an industrial level, people can take the methods and techniques and adapt them to their corner of the world. Humans had to experiment for hundreds or even thousands of years to understand how farming techniques could play to their benefit. However, growing crops is now taken for granted. Masses of land that were once used to feed ourselves before are now unused or turned into wastelands mainly because of government or corporate intervention.

That is why vertical indoor farming is such a great alternative to attain food security.

See a complete photo gallery of vertical farming prototype projects here.

USDA deregulates GMO corn to produce fuel

Mike Adams
NaturalNews.com
February 16, 2011

Right on the heels of the USDA’s decision to deregulate GM alfalfa (http://www.naturalnews.com/031196_G…), the U.S. Department of Agriculture has now decided to completely deregulate genetically engineered corn used for ethanol production. This is just the latest Frankenfood horror unleashed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has firmly established himself as the regulatory puppet of Monsanto and other GMO giants.

The public spin on this decision is that it will allow the growing of corn engineered to produce more ethanol fuel, thereby improving the efficiency in the conversion of corn to fuel. This claim is, of course, scientifically invalid on so many levels that it’s difficult to know where to begin. But I’ll take a shot at it…

Remember when we used to actually EAT corn?

For starters, in a world where food prices are rapidly rising, where crops are failing due to radical weather events, and where food stockpiles are at their lowest levels in many decades, the idea of converting food to fuel is utterly ludicrous. Making matters even worse, there’s the simple fact that the ethanol advocates simply refuse to admit: Growing corn for fuel consumes more fuel than it produces!

The whole corn-for-ethanol debacle is simply another government-run agricultural cluster shuck involving the wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars which disappear into the black hole of subsidies handed out to corn growers. The whole thing smacks of economic insanity combined with an almost alien view of the natural world. To look upon an acre of corn and think that it’s supposed to be burned in combustion engines rather than consumed as nutrition represents a whole new level of mental illness — an illness which has infected the minds of regulators and lawmakers. (Is there a vaccine shot to prevent it yet?)

Beyond that, the claim that this corn-to-fuel effort is now the justification for unleashing genetically contaminated GE corn across North America is not just bad thinking; it’s dangerously bad thinking from people who should know better.

The end of agricultural genetic integrity

Because you know what happens next? With GE corn being planted everywhere, the wind will cross-contaminate regular corn crops, resulting in widespread genetic pollution of the corn grown in America. This, in turn, will result in America’s corn being refused for importation by other nations which don’t want to poison their people with genetically altered corn (unlike the U.S. government).

It will damage the entire U.S. corn industry, in other words, and further devastate U.S. farmers who are already squeezed by freak weather events.

“The USDA’s decision defies common sense,” said Margaret Mellon, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Food and Environment Program. “There is no way to protect food corn crops from contamination by ethanol corn. Even with the most stringent precautions, the wind will blow and standards will slip. In this case, there are no required precautions.”

Over at the Center for Food Safety, science policy analyst Bill Freese wrote, “Syngenta’s biofuels corn will inevitably contaminate food-grade corn, and could well trigger substantial rejection in our corn export markets, hurting farmers.” (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/…)

An article at Truth-Out.org reveals some of the possible under-the-table financial links that may be behind this decision to deregulate GE corn: http://www.truth-out.org/big-win-bi…

The Alliance for Natural Health has also posted a very good summary on this situation. It’s a great read: http://www.anh-usa.org/now-usda-has…

Our corn supply is being stalked by Monsanto

So what does it all mean? It means that between the GE corn, GE sugar beets, GE alfalfa, cotton, soy and other ingredients, we are living in a grand, dangerous experiment of playing God with seeds.

I’ve said this before: It’s almost as if people like Tom Vilsack (and other Monsanto minions) are just begging Mother Nature to wipe out human civilization and start over. Here, everybody! Let’s turn our food crops into pesticide absorbers, then feed them to cows and people!

It’s all being done for corporate profits, of course. Because that’s all it takes to compromise the future of life on our planet: Just another buck on the bottom line.

That’s all it takes at the USDA, too: Just another promise of a sweet, cushy job in the corn industry after you’ve left the agency. Bend enough rules in favor of Big Ag, and you can name your salary a few years down the road. Because if there’s a kernel of truth to be found in any of this, it’s that corporations — and regulators — will operate with outrageous disregard for the integrity of the natural world.

By the way, this decision was made under the guise of “science.” All the lies now being repeated about the safety of genetically engineered crops are being bolstered by the laughable claim that they are “scientific” and that anyone who opposes GMOs is, by default, “unscientific.”