This week I (Michael) spoke at a local Rotary Club on all things related to Food Security. At Grow Dynamix we are continually educating about the vital need for locally based food security systems to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
During the Food Security talk I covered the following four sections:
1. What is food security.
2. A history of local and global food security.
3. Why everyone should be concerned about food security (e.g. the issues we face now and into the future).
4. What we all can do to be involved in Food Security measures either directly or indirectly.
Often listeners at these presentations express their concerns in regard to the volatility of our food chains and issues such as climate change, globalisation and looming food shortages all of which can affect local and global food supplies. Often people have a sense of fear or dread in regard to the issues the world is facing and begin to feel overwhelmed, but there is no need to feel overwhelmed as we can all take action.
During this particular presentation I shared my view that sometime in the next decade it is likely that supermarkets in developed nations would struggle to keep up with food demands, especially when unforeseen events occur. We have seen examples of supermarket shelves emptying overnight in Venezuela and Qatar due to economic downturns and political disputes. My Food Security talks covering topics such as this are designed to educate and inform. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. To have genuine food security we all need to know how food security works and the global supply chain’s fragility including its inability to function effectively when things go wrong.
It is wise to be prepared for global supply chain food shortages or restrictions. It is not a question of if these shortages will happen but when. Just over the last few months we have observed major crop losses in North America caused by record rainfall and cold weather. Here in Australia, we have had constant drought which has caused record low yields in our wheat and rice crops. In China more than 50% of their swine herd were wiped out because of the African Swine Flu Pandemic. These examples are a mere snapshot of events that are happening in real time that will impact local and global food security in the coming months and years. Who knows what other major event is just around the corner to further impact on our ability to feed ourselves and our families in the next decade?
So, my advice to all the participants at my Rotary and other food security related talks is to plant a garden. Or if that is not an option then get involved with your local community or school garden. Growing food is a great way to be food secure into the future.