Our planet is being devastated by our lifestyle. That is a fact.
We will have 9 billion people living on Earth in a few decades. That is also a fact.
So how are we going to feed all these people?
This is just one of the many problems we are facing in today’s Food Systems. Problems that are so deep and complex that one single aspect of it may cause an endless and heated discussion. For each problem, there are many aspects to be evaluated, many perspectives and many protagonists playing very important parts. Each character of course, comes from a different perspective and has many arguments to defend its point of view.
GMO and CAFO companies, big retailers and governments have a HUGE voice in this entire business, and throughout history have dictated what we were to have on our table. Not that there was no one trying to avoid some of the things they were doing, but activists, organic farmers and others players were not so loud as they are today. Nowadays, people are more interested in knowing what they put on they’re tables. Because of that, smaller groups that defend a sustainable agriculture gained more power and the discussions around food have never been so loud.
It is hard to think that companies such as Tyson Foods or Kentucky Fried Chicken may have any common ground with NGOs that are fighting for a more fair and sustainable food system. There have been epic fights about CAFOs, about the use of GMOs and about many other topics. Many of these fight have taken us nowhere because the 2 sides see each other as opponents, which muddles the task of finding a solution at hand.
But we’re talking about food, which makes us all participants. And at some level, most of us have underlying values in common. Even if this value is to feed the world. We must find a way to talk about what we are doing, how can we find the common ground that will lead us to a more optimistic future.
As Laura Titzer says in the great article “The Story of Tomatoes” – Inflexibility of behavior or beliefs can lead to extinction.
The problem is no the GMOs. The problem is not the 9 billion people. The problem we are facing is the lack of conversation.