A MANIFESTO ON FOOD
We’re on a dangerous path. The world is slowly crumbling beneath us, a reality that is difficult to fathom when we aren’t directly or immediately affected. I write this manifesto because the future of our food system is in peril.
We are quickly approaching a world where crop biodiversity is plummeting. Our monocultures are taking over. Our food supply is growing at a dangerously slow rate, yet our population continues to rise. We currently make enough food to sustain nine billion people. But we’re only feeding a fraction of the seven billion today. By 2050, we’ll have nine billion people on this planet, and unfortunately there isn’t another green revolution in sight. There isn’t much additional cropland that can easily be pursued and our current monocultures have made it practically impossible to diversify our crops on the land we currently use.
Climate change is quickly changing our landscape as well. With an increase in extreme weather and natural disasters, we can expect major impacts on our growing seasons. We can expect unstable production of crops: too much of one, too little of the other, all happening at unexpected times. We can expect temperature rises that will be unfavorable for the survival of our crops. We can also expect temperature rises to create shifts in our terrain; wildlife will gradually move toward the poles, and Michigan will resemble Louisiana’s climate by the end of the century. When the terrain changes, we can expect severe impacts on our crops. When birds and bees stop influencing pollination, we can expect severe impacts on our crops.
Our current industrialization of food is a major contributor to environmental degradation across the globe – depleting water sources, decimating land and ecosystems, and driving carbon dioxide increase and climate change. As we continue to challenge the longevity of our planet, we unconsciously perpetuate the oppression of women, children, people of color, and low-income communities. The most vulnerable populations are disproportionately targeted by environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and collapsing food systems. These consequences ultimately impact livelihood and even mobility within communities.
Let’s challenge the norm. No one is forcing us to destroy the planet. No one is forcing us to further entrench oppression in vulnerable communities. No one is forcing us to eliminate the possibility of eating food in the future. No one is forcing us to do anything, except us.