Home Grown

The other day I heard writer/journalist Steven Poole being interviewed on ABC radio about his new book You Aren’t What You Eat: Fed Up With Gastroculture. I haven’t read the book, but going by this synopsis, I have a feeling I might thoroughly enjoy it!

However, there was one thing I heard Steven talk about that didn’t quite convince me. In a discussion on the rise of slow/local food scenes, he raised the issue that while some people choose this foodie path because of the perceived ethical benefits of eating local, others may argue that in doing so, they are doing an African farmer out of his sale of beans or tomatoes or something…which raises a completely different set of ethical complexities. Continue reading

Renewable Food

A recent special investigation by The Ecologist magazine has highlighted an interesting link between global food poverty and famine and “food speculation”, a recent financial trading trend amongst the Big Money players.

The theory is that “speculators” (traders with no commercial interest in the commodity they are buying or selling) have the ability to increase global food prices, simply through their involvement in the stock exchange. In effect, an urbanite in London, who has never stood amidst a field of real live corn, can make a few million on corn stocks with the click of a button. Before you can say ‘popcorn’, a few thousand people in a poorer country across the globe go hungry because the boosted price of said commodity means they can’t afford to buy maize anymore. Continue reading