Friday, November 21, 2014
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Critics say patients could end up taking longer to heal because they are not getting adequate nutrients and vitamins at a time when they need them most.
Dr Margaret Richie, of Edinburgh University, said it was unlikely the limited budget could provide a healthy diet, unless patients were served baked beans every day.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
40% of India’s fruits and vegetables and roughly 22% of wheat are lost annually due to poor cold storage facilities and infrastructural bottlenecks, according to a study done by a UK-based institute. 1.2-2 billion tonne of food items, or 30-50% of total production, is lost each year. Losses of rice in South-east Asian nations can range from 37% to 80% of production, depending on the stage of development, totalling around 180 million tonne a year, the report also said. About 550 billion cubic meters of water is wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer
‘‘This is food that could be used to feed the world’s growing population – as well as the nearly one billion people in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food,’’ said Tim Fox, the head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. There is the potential to provide 60-100% more food by eliminating losses and wastages while freeing up land, energy and water resources, the report said.
Despite the economy tripling in size between 1990 and 2005 to become Asia’s third largest, 42% of children under five years are underweight – nearly double the rate of sub-Saharan Africa.
Friday, March 08, 2013
Thursday, December 13, 2012
The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo Nwanze, explained “There is enough food in the world to feed every man, woman and child. Yet one-third of the food that is produced goes to waste. Fifty-seven per cent of food produced is not used for consumption. There is enough food to feed every mouth. The issue is access to food.”
The issue is indeed access to food - free access.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
An insufficient intake of this vital nutrient – found in foods like liver, carrots and kale – can be fatal and causes blindness in 250,000 to 500,000 children every year.
Solving the problem of hunger does not necessarily tackle the question of nutrition. For instance, rice can represent up to 70 percent of caloric intake in many Asian countries, while cassava – rich in calories but also poor in nutrients – is the main food source for many Africans.
Monday, November 12, 2012
The tragic irony is feeding the planet, now and in the future, can be done. According to estimates by several studies, there are already 3,000 calories available for every man, woman and child, which is more than enough to sustain us.
Who cares what’s in store for the future, as long as the rich can pocket the money they make today? Who cares what their craving for more profits may bring tomorrow?
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public policy at New York University, one of the leading nutritional experts who has written many books on the food industry, explains obesity rates started to rise in the 1980s, she says largely because of demands Wall Street placed on food makers.
Wall Street "forced food companies to try and sell food in an extremely competitive environment," she says. Food manufacturers "had to look for ways to get people to buy more food. And they were really good at it. I blame Wall Street for insisting that corporations have to grow their profits every 90 days."
Large government subsidizes given to the corn, wheat, soybean and sugar industries allowed farmers to reap high returns on their crops. Farmers could grow these commodities cheaply and were encouraged by the food industry "to plant as much as they could. Food production increased, and so did calories in the food supply," Nestle writes. Inexpensive food encouraged more eating, and more eating led to bigger waistlines. "Today, in contrast to the early 1980s, it is socially acceptable to eat in more places, more frequently and in larger amounts, and for children to regularly consume fast foods, snacks and sodas" Since 1980 the index cost of fruits and vegetables has gone up by 40 percent. Whereas the index price of sodas and snack foods have gone down by 20 to 30 percent.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American throws away 33 pounds of food each month — that’s nearly 400 pounds each year. Food waste makes up nearly 14% of American families’ trash. Americans toss more food in their garbage cans than plastic products. This waste includes both leftover cooked foods, and food that was purchased but allowed to spoil without being eaten. The foods most commonly discarded without ever being eaten include fresh produce, eggs and fish.
Farmers, packaged food producers and retailers all waste edible food, too. Farmers may throw away excess produce that cannot be sold; food process may discard edible byproducts; grocery stores often reject or discard produce with minor defects. And at any point along the food supply chain, failure to deliver food promptly or store food properly may lead to spoilage.
Agriculture and food production are highly energy-intensive industries. Industrialized farms use petrochemicals to fertilize soil, and fossil fuels to power farm equipment. Transporting food from field to plate consumes even more energy. According to the a report issued by the UN FAO in November 2011, the food sector accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world’s energy consumption. Wasted food, essentially, is wasted energy. And wasted water, too: the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that agriculture accounts for roughly 70 percent of human water consumption. Beyond the substantial environmental impact of the wasted energy and water represented by wasted food, food waste contributes significantly to global climate change when it decomposes in landfills. When left to decompose in natural conditions or in a compost pile, food waste naturally releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But under unnatural landfill conditions, in the absence of air, most food waste undergoes anaerobic decomposition, which results in the production of large amounts of methane gas instead. Though both carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases that can contribute to climate change, EPA scientists estimate that methane gas is 20 times more efficient at trapping the sun’s heat than carbon dioxide — making excess methane much more dangerous to the climate than excess CO2. Landfills are currently the third-largest source of methane in the United States, producing more of the dangerous greenhouse gas than coal mining or crude oil production. And much of the methane in landfills comes from decomposing food waste.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/while-children-starve-up-to-half-of-the-worlds-food-goes-to-waste.html#ixzz1qIF2NUnI
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Countries like Germany and Poland outlaw the “gavage” method of feeding, while California prohibits the sale of foie gras. the European Union has planned to stop, from 2019 onward, the production of this traditional cuisine. Currently, Hungary, which used to be the second-biggest producer, has gradually decreased its output. Israel, another major producer in the past, has also discontinued its production. Last year, some French foie gras producers were shut out at the Cologne International Food Fair.
So it is not altogether surprising that production is shifting eastward to China. The world’s biggest goose farm and foie gras factory will soon be established on the banks of Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Province, China. The American investment company Creek Project is said to be putting $100 million into the venture. The planned Poyang Lake project will raise around two million geese and eight million ducks annually. China already produces an estimated 1,000 tons of foie gras per year, double its output in 2006. France still remains No. 1 with about 20,000 tons a year.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
In places such as Ethiopia (a low-income country that has had several serious famines in recent decades), the cheapest foods are the least calorie-dense; therefore, the poor systematically lack access to energy-rich foods, and have a higher likelihood of suffering from undernutrition and starvation. By contrast, in a city such as Glasgow, the cheapest foods are the most calorie-dense – kebabs, chips, crisps, pies and puddings, fizzy drinks etc – so the poor there are more at risk from obesity.
Deprived areas in cities , termed "food deserts" in the academic literature about obesity, fundamentally limit the food choices that poor people can make, thereby promoting unhealthy lifestyles, and ultimately, obesity.A basket of healthy food would cost more in a poor part of east London, for example, than it would in somewhere like Fulham.
Another issue is what is termed "food insecurity", or lack of regular, dependable access to food. This can also promote obesity. Imagine that you didn't know where your next meal would come from, and you had a large meal in front of you at the time: what would you do? I would eat the whole thing (probably more than my fill), so that if, in fact, I didn't get a meal later, I would have eaten enough for the day. Now, what if the next meal did come (again, in the same setting of insecurity about where the next meal would come from)? A cycle of insecurity-based overconsumption can set in, ultimately leading to obesity.
A study in the International Journal of Obesity upon following over 11,000 Britons for 33 years, showed that low parental social class at age seven was a significant predictor of obesity at age 33. If a factor as intractable as parental social class can influence obesity risk 26 years later, it is hardly helpful to blame every obese individual for his or her condition.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Children are being deprived of dietary staples and instead are being raised on cheap packaged food high in fat, salt and sugar. The Grocer magazine shows food prices rising by almost a fifth over the past year, with basic essentials such as rice and milk among the worst hit.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Scottish prawns are being hand-shelled in China, Atlantic haddock caught off Scotland is being prepared in Poland and Welsh cockles are being sent to Holland to be put in jars before going on sale in Britain.
Meanwhile, products grown overseas are taking circuitous routes to Britain. African-grown coffee is being packed 3,500 miles away in India, Canadian prawns are processed in Iceland, and Bolivian nuts are being packed in Italy.“We are producing food in one corner of the world, packing it in another and then shipping it somewhere else. It’s mad.”
Dawnfresh, a Scottish seafood company that supplies supermarkets and other large retailers, cut 70 jobs last year after deciding to ship its scampi more than 5,000 miles to China to be shelled by hand, then shipped back to the River Clyde in Scotland and breaded for sale in Britain.
The company said it was forced to make the move by commercial pressures. “This seems a bizarre thing to do but the reality is that the numbers don’t stack up any other way,” said Andrew Stapley, a director. “We are not the first in the industry to have had to do this. Sadly, it’s cheaper to process overseas than in the UK and companies like us are having to do this to remain competitive.”
Haddock is one of the fish most commonly caught by British trawlers, but Tesco sends its Atlantic haddock for processing to Poland where labour costs are lower. It is then driven more than 850 miles to Tesco’s depot in Daventry, Northamptonshire.Traidcraft coffee, sold at Sainsbury’s, is made from beans grown in Bukoba, Tanzania.
Once the coffee is cultivated, it is driven 656 miles to Dar-es-Salaam and then shipped 3,250 miles to Vijayawada in India where it is packed. The coffee is loaded back on the ships and transported another 5,000 miles to Southampton. It is then driven 330 miles to Gateshead and is finally driven to Leeds for distribution to Sainsbury’s stores.
Sainsbury’s organic fair trade rice, produced in the lush foothills of the Himalayas, is shipped to Lille, France, rather than Britain, to be packed. It then makes a second journey to end up on Sainsbury’s shelves.It is not just fair trade coffee that is sent from country to country. Instead of directly importing coffee beans from Costa Rica for their instant coffee, Sainsbury’s and Tesco first send them to Germany. The final product then undergoes another 500-mile lorry journey to get to Britain.Similarly, French-grown walnuts sold in Waitrose are sent to Naples to be packed. The retailer’s Brazil nuts from South America are also transported to Italy before being sent to Britain.
The industrialisation of the food chain means even small firms are being forced to ship their produce abroad for processing. Pilchard fillets, produced by the Pilchard Works in Cornwall, are sent on the overnight ferry to France because there is no suitable processing plant in England. The pilchards are canned in Douarnenez in Brittany, then returned to Cornwall. Similarly, Welsh cockles – produced by Van Smirren Seafoods – are driven across Britain to Dover and then transported to Yerseke in Holland. They are pickled and put in jars before being sent back to Britain.
Caroline Lucas, the Green party MEP, said: “Ultimately, the price is paid by all of us in the shape of higher greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and congestion, and food that is both less tasty and less healthy.”
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
White loaf at Sainsbury's and Tesco: 65p - up 20%
Butter: 94p - up 62%
English mild cheddar: £1.52 - up 26%
Garden peas at Tesco: £1.79 - up 63%
Basmati white rice: £1.45 - up 61%
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The answer is yes, but only after significant change in land use and a rather drastic adjustment of the national diet.
Professor Peter Gregory, CEO of the Scottish Crop Research Institute says: "Technically, this is not a crisis for Scotland. There is enough arable land to provide for every person in Scotland. Our cereal yields are around twice the global average."
It would be possible to start making bread for five million people living in Scotland if we switched rape fields for wheat fields.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Lots of food, lots of hunger: it’s a market thing.
Last week the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development was published...Its main findings were simple enough, however. There is enough food for everyone. It is cheaper and, broadly, more nutritious than it has been in decades, but 800 million go hungry...
...there are no food shortages. Instead, according to one of those complicated theories they teach at Oxford and the like, there are money shortages. Or rather - and this is apparently so complicated it never gets discussed - some people are very short of money and some are anything but...
...The relationships between land, food security, politics and bread at £1.13 a loaf are not abstract. The laws of economics should not be mistaken for acts of God...
As Bell writes , the law of economics is not abstract but neither is it complicated . Simply put , in capitalism , if you cannot pay , you cannot have , no matter your dire need . The Socialist Party understand this , as too does the working class , even if they so far have not understood or sought the solution - socialism - and it is not more abstract analysis from philosophers and politicians that is required , instead the point now is to change the way the world is organised for the benefit of the few against the interests of the many to a system where we all enjoy the fruits of our labour . That takes political action and a political movement to organise around and that requires members and commitment.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Michael Darrington said commodity traders were more to blame for spiralling food price inflation than poor harvests or farmland given over to biofuels.
“There are stocks of wheat and grain in the world, and crops are growing at the moment but funds are being set up as speculators see an opportunity to make some short-term money and someone has to pay for it. It's really sad for people in the developing world where food can account for 70 per cent of the family budget. Wheat is predominantly grown in America, Australia, Europe - the wealthier areas - and people in under-developed nations are hurting the most.” He added “I suppose that's just capitalism but it's jolly disappointing. If society looked down on these funds then perhaps it would make a difference.”
Can't pay - Can't have - So starve .
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Low prices led to sheep on hill farms being slaughtered because they could not be sold and faced a shortage of grazing with the onset of winter. Mr Picken of National Farmers Union Scotland said the difficulties facing livestock farmers could see grassland being ploughed up and left fallow.
But when it comes to making a buck , there is always an alternative .
Mr Picken said the UK was lagging behind other countries in the production of biofuels. "So there is a bit of room so to speak for growing energy crops."
Ineos Enterprises' proposal to build one of Europe's biggest bio-diesel plants in Grangemouth was given the go-ahead . And there are pending plans by DMF Biodiesel for a processing facility in Rosyth . And there will be another at Motherwell , partly financed the Scottish Parliment's Regional Selective Assistance .
So as elsewhere in the world , it is will now be a matter of growing crops for fuel not food - and farmers will be eligible for a single Common Agricultural Policy payment and also claim EU energy aid payment to a maximum of 45 Euros (£32) per hectare.
The greed for profits will starve hungry bellies .
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