Food security: woolly thinking and self defeating solutions

As Jack Thurston has well exposed in his recent entry, the “food security” argument seems to be the new rally call for those trying to justify continuation of untargetted payments to farmers, or even a return to production support (albeit disguised as “risk management”, “income insurance” and the like). At a recent debate I was struck by the fact that the “food security” threat, and hence the need to support further agriculture intensification was almost universally endorsed, including by “CAP reformers”. While Jack has given a powerful argument for refuting the neo-Malthusian scaremongering about looming food shortage, you don’t actually need to believe in a future of plenty to call the bluff on this line of reasoning.… Read the rest

Meat: facing the dilemmas

The excellent Food Ethics published by the Food Ethics Council has devoted its latest issue to this theme. You can read excerpts online here. There are a lot of issues related to increasing meat consumption: climate change; health issues; water scarcity and biodiversity loss from clearing forests to make way for pasture and feed production; and animal welfare, which is certainly not a luxury we can no longer afford.… Read the rest