We often hear about the resource curse in developing countries in terms of oil or precious minerals — most of us don’t associate the concept with food. But as this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, food journalist Frederick Kaufman, has chronicled, in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa the resource of fertile land is being exploited in a way that is reminiscent of how other marketable resources have been appropriated.
Multinational companies and foreign governments are buying up mass tracts of land in poorer nations, growing food on that land, but then shipping all of it off elsewhere, depriving the populations of those countries both the resource and the profit it garnered. Kaufman explores how this reflects a change in global food security patterns, and offers his take on how enormous financial institutions like Goldman Sachs are reaping profits while others starve.
There is little disagreement that urban farming translates into increased access to local, sustainable, and healthy food, and that this is a very good thing. But how is it done? What are the success stories of urban farming? And what exactly is a “foodshed?” Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Philip Ackerman-Leist, an author, educator and farmer. We learn about foodsheds and discuss how urban farming has proliferated in cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Oakland. He also tells host Alex Wise about how today’s global menu and palate are creating a carbon-intensive food transport problem, and shares some of his best thinking on the ways to get a new generation of Americans engaged in helping ensure our food security future.