Friday, December 18, 2009

feast or famine?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow- Thats a powerful video Jenna! Thanks for sharing it. I'm not even sure how I feel about it, but overall its so true.

I think I'll head on over to Facebook and post it. Happy Friday!! :)


December 18, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Dahlia ChanTang said...

Thanks for the heads up Jenna! I'm posting it on my blog!

December 18, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Good video! We did a section on population growth in my sociology class. The nations with the fastest growing populations are also some of the poorest which means that not only will over population hurt the planet, it might even destroy national governments along with it. I'm always 100% in support of better agricultural practices but there's a lot more that needs to change to fix the problem. I just hope the world can change fast enough.

December 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressive video

December 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

This is a large part of the reason why I'm trying to learn to grow as much food in my backyard as possible. We also have plans for a rain water catchment system for later- once the roof needs replacing or it's close enough and we can afford it, we have plans to replace it with a standing metal roof, which is the cleanest roof for saving water. Not everyone will be able to grow their own food, but I think anyone with even a stamp-sized yard and enough sun should try. I think we're going to need to.

December 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Amigo van Helical said...

That's an excellent video. Thank you so much for posting it, Jenna.


December 18, 2009 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Jeff_in_Pawlet said...

Jerry Garcia summed it up long ago: "There's simply too many monkeys on this mud ball, man."

December 18, 2009 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

I've always believed that either we solve the problem or the earth will. On a galactic scale, we are smaller than fleas... more of a virus on the earth. Either we live symbiotically with the planet or we will be removed, like fleas off a dogs back. This is not terribly hard to imagine, as we've witnessed the speed with which a global virus can spread. If you factor in climate change, suddenly the earth is free of the problem and evolution steps in again. As Dr. Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) said, "Nature will find a way."

Course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. ;)

December 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

How depressing! We need a good old plague to wipe out a huge part of the population or we are going to be in trouble. Unless we, when I say we I mean us humans, stop reproducing so fast.

December 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

I find it sad and amusing that the video says "failure is not an option." In fact, failure is highly likely. We can't feed the 6 billion and change that live on the planet right now. 16,000 children under the age of 5 will die of starvation related causes today and every day.

If we don't reduce our population and consumption, simple physics will. Peak oil will keep us from being able to feed another 2 billion people, if we don't destroy ourselves with global warming before then.

My main positive input to this is that I contribute to Planned Parenthood monthly. And we are trying to become more self-sufficient. But like most Americans, our attempts are fairly laughable.

December 18, 2009 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger T said...

Wow, what an eye opener Jenna. Thanks for posting it. Also, I received "Chuck" in the mail today!

It's beautiful and I love it - thank you so very much!

December 18, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Wow, I'm kind of surprised by the comments suggesting that humans need to die to solve the problem, even though sadly that is already what has happened. The truth is, though, that there is already plenty of food being produced right now. The United States already produces twice as many calories per U.S. citizen than is needed for a healthy diet. The problem is that the places that need the food can't afford to buy it from us. Not only that, but we've ruined their own agricultural production by flooding their markets with cheap corn from our own government subsidies.

Like I said, the issue is far more complicated than a simple input/output equation. If it weren't for immigration, America's population would've already started to decline. The population boom isn't going to happen here or in Japan or Europe. It's going to happen in places like northern India and the poor nations of Africa.

This isn't just an ecological or agricultural issue. It's a political and cultural issue. The solution is not just to produce more food, but to produce less people and the only way that will happen is if the countries that are in the biggest danger of population explosions are able to change long standing cultural beliefs. The biggest boost to the fight against over population will come from raising the economic and social status of women so they're not forced to give birth to large numbers of children in order to have enough sons to care for the family.

It's not as though the human population has suddenly become very horny. People are living longer and infant mortality rates are lower due to advances in science and medicine. Before a country becomes technologically advance both the birth and death rate are so high they balance each other out. Once we introduce modern medicine to a country, the death rate drops dramatically but the birth rate continues on as normal which causes an apparent "population explosion". Over time, the birth rate of industrialized nations drop and the population stabilizes again as has happened here in America and even more so in Japan. Preventing a disaster is a matter of moving newly industrialized nations quickly to a lower birth rate to minimize the amount of population growth.

December 18, 2009 at 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 19, 2009 at 1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The video isn't nearly as interesting as the comments. For the other side of the coin, I submit: in which a real farmer discusses the actual amount of water which is required to bring a pound of beef into the food supply; which asks us to consider very carefully the technology we ask to "feed the world" and decries the current trend of placing our food supply in the hands of one or two multinational corporations;

and the following quote from Joel Salatin: "If every cow producer in the country would use this model, in less than 10 years we would sequester all the carbon that’s been emitted since the beginning of the industrial age. It’s really that simple. Without question, grass-finished, mob-stocked beef is the most efficacious way to heal the planet. We should drastically drop our chicken and pork consumption and return to our indigenous, climate-appropriate protein source: perennial forages turned into red meat and milk."

I'd also like to suggest a principle from Dickens, timely in its season as well as its spirit, ``Man,'' said the Ghost, ``if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!''

Would we technologically-advanced blog commenters consider ourselves more fit to live than a starving Somalian dust farmer? Perhaps in the eyes of heaven it is not so.

Let's tread this discourse with a little humility.

December 19, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I love you guys. These comments are better than most college classroom discussions.

December 19, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Mariana Soffer said...

I liked this a lot, great video, it is apolling what goes on in the world.There was no time of the human civilization that was not an epoch of barbarism.

December 19, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Jenna, I have to agree. At least I feel like I finally got my money's worth for that sociology class I had to take. I love the idea what the video could do for agriculture here in America because it's been clear for at least the last 50 years that we're on the wrong path. I'm just not convinced innovation in agriculture here is the solution to this particular problem.

I think people have this really naive view that "global economy" is the same thing as "global sharing". The fact that there's enough food in the world to feed every doesn't mean that everyone can afford to eat. Money is still what makes the world go round. Food is actually one of the biggest American exports. We're certainly not going to give it away after we've spent years working to dominate markets by being able to sell food for less than it costs to produce via government subsidies.

There isn't even just two sides to this issue. There are dozens of institutions that aren't working well together that are setting us up for this. If we want to work on a solution to the agriculture portion of the problem, I'd suggest instead of learning to grow your own food (still a good idea) that you contribute to groups like Heifer International that work directly to stimulate agriculture in countries most likely to be affected by widespread famine. They provide livestock, education, and facilities to teach people how to produce their own food, maintain the land, and provide for themselves through what's available. Basically, they teach them how to be a homesteader.

December 19, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

It's definately eye-opening but it's hard to place how I feel about it, especially after reading the comments.

We're a family of seven. Working towards homesteading and being self sufficient. We have rainbarrels set up for irrigation. We limit gas consuption. We homeschool. Have a small garden with big hopes on expanding. We live in the city too.

I think part of our problem in the US at least isn't lack of food it's cost and waste. We throw out a lot of perfectly good things that could go to feed others. Publix won't sell the last chunk of deli meat to consumers but they won't donate it to shelters either, they throw it out. I know, I asked. Target throws out perfectly good plants (including vegetable/herbs) because they've browned slightly. Again, I asked which is how I know.

That little bit of extra work it'd take to drop off canned goods or other non-perishables to food banks before they expire or realize they're not getting used seems too much work for many so it gets tossed out with the trash.

I also donated to this year instead of presents for the adults in our lives.

Hoping I can raise five kids with enough independent, concious thought to at least lessen our burden on the world.

December 20, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger JenHarper said...

I loved the video and I think that population control measures must be introduced as part of the equation. I don't propose that anyone "die", but that families have the access to birth control methods that allow them to say, "I have x number of resources, that will feed y number of people, so that is how many children I will bring into the world." I really think that families across the world don't want to watch their children die of starvation.

December 21, 2009 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Annie Beez said...

I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you kids, but overpopulation is a myth. The idea that hunger,poverty and suffering can be cured by less people in the world is a century old philosophy that has been swallowed by liberal educators and the main stream media and fed to us all. Yes Rene', the idea that humans need to die to solve these problems IS obsurd, and there is another money-grubbing organization working very hard to make sure our families are small and that we feel guilty for being here, and that is planned parenthood. I know, I am putting forth an unpopular argument, but I hope people will just try to have an open mind and consider the possiblity they are being deceived. Here is a great article on the subject:

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