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World Food Supply Dwindling

  1. Dec 18, 2007 #1

    chemisttree

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    The UN reports that the World's food supply is dwindling rapidly while prices are approaching historic highs. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/17/europe/food.php

    Wheat has just hit a record high of $10.095 per bushel for March delivery.
    What happens if next year's crops don't do well?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2007 #2
    Average incomes will increase.
    Prosperity has its down side.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
  4. Dec 21, 2007 #3
    As long as a box of mac-n-cheese us under $2 and an apple 40 cents I don't see how anyone goes hungry :)
     
  5. Dec 21, 2007 #4

    wolram

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    May be when china buys all your food from under you.
     
  6. Dec 21, 2007 #5

    Evo

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    What about all of the food we sent to starving African nations that was left to rot because the countries didn't want to anger EU countires because of their laws against bio-engineered crops?

    http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/africa_humanitarian_crisis/bio_answers.html
     
  7. Dec 21, 2007 #6
    Not w/o an abundance of petro-chemicals. Show us some data re the genetically engineered products and how thats the only way we can afford to give it a way! Truth I think is many countries, including most of europe has turned its nose up on this stuff, and Monsanto, et al, are doing the Nestle routine--dumping crap on the third world. "Eat this (with a gun poised to ones head) or die of starvation" is the image that comes to mind.
     
  8. Dec 21, 2007 #7
    If there is such a food shortage, why are people fatter than ever in history?
     
  9. Dec 21, 2007 #8
    right now my mom is trying to ganetically splice a speases of seaweed with watermelon dont laff its true beacuse it grows faster than any other plant right now the plant producess softball size fruit that tast like watermelon with alot of salt on it and a background tast of seaweed mom said its not done yet not saposed to have heavy salt or seaweed tast but the plant does produce 16 mealons every 3 1/2 mo
     
  10. Dec 22, 2007 #9

    Evo

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    Read the link I provided, it will answer your questions.
     
  11. Dec 22, 2007 #10
    They may buy more than just our food.

    The Chinese just bought a $5 billon chunck of Morgan Stanley. Yet at this point the Chinese want to sell us food.
     
  12. Dec 23, 2007 #11
    Evo:

    Im not sure you have read the article you posted a link to yourself? Have you?

    The problem arises when people happen to plant the GM crops in africa. I do not know how well you are educated, but there seem to be some things you do not understand.

    1. Naturally bred species of corn in different countries are adapted to those countries.
    2. Corn, grown in Americas will not encounter the same conditions in Africa.
    3. The corn may breed with the natural species, thus harming the yield.
    4. A high food value is not the same as a high reproduction rate. The GM strain may be a better fertile breed, but still it gives lesser yields.

    The problem with GM food sorts are at a entirely different place than the tummy. ;)

    - The GM strains may harm a country's agriculture
    - Some GM crops produce infertile seed, to keep their customers buying new seed every year ;).. This is immoral.
     
  13. Dec 23, 2007 #12

    russ_watters

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    Those may sound like real concerns, hexan, but there is no evidence that those concerns are actually real. My grandfather is a farmer (now retired) and I once brought up the subject of GM crops to him. I asked him if he would ever consider not using them. He laughed.

    When the environmentalists convinced several african countries not to accept donations of GM crops that could have helped end the famines there, they committed murder.
    No, that's business. And not to worry - if the GM crops really aren't as good, the farmers wouldn't buy them next year anyway, would they?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  14. Dec 23, 2007 #13

    dst

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    Not to mention, if these plants are really as bad as fears go, we won't be seeing much of them. Isn't the situation with rapeseed bad enough?
     
  15. Dec 23, 2007 #14
    russ:
    Yeah.. Well Im a farmer, and I sure as hell wouldnt plant any gm crops.
     
  16. Dec 23, 2007 #15
    Corn is native only to the Americas, and before GM crops, corn was introduced through out the world. Horse and cattle have grown quite well in Texas, Brazil and Argentina before GM and potatos have done well in Maine and Idaho prior GM.

    Selective breeding has been around long before the GM crop, so I am not so sure whether there is an issue at all or a bit of stuborness.
     
  17. Dec 23, 2007 #16

    turbo

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    I think that the point is that infertile seed can't be reserved as seed for next year's crop. Here in the US, farmers give no thought to buying high-yield hybrids that don't breed true.

    In many parts of the world, seeds are reserved from this year's crop to plant next year's crop. If GM plants hybridize with their traditional crops, the farmer's independence on seed (he can save his own instead of buying more next year) can be broken, and he will never know about the failure of his hybridized seed until the next crop fails to come in, leaving him and his family with no option but to try to buy seed and re-plant at what may not be an optimal time of the season.

    Here in Maine there is an organization (MOGFA) that is an affiliation of organic growers and farmers. Many of these farmers supply seed, saplings, root-stock, etc to local seed companies like Johnny's and FEDCO (big business up here) and they are very concerned about the introduction of GM crops for this very reason. If the GM crops from another farm cross-pollinate their heirloom varieties with negative effects on propagation, germination rates, etc, we will have lost a valuable resource, perhaps forever. The farmers who want GM crops insist that small buffer zones around their fields will protect the heirloom crops from inadvertent cross-pollination from wind-borne pollen. They haven't managed to explain how they'll train bees, hummingbirds, etc to stay only in their fields and not fly to another field several hundred yards away, though.
     
  18. Dec 23, 2007 #17
    haha.. you know, farmers have to think long-term.. And a good farmer plans years into the future, if not until next generation. They know choices they make today will affect the future; thats why farmers are skeptics.. After having that in mind, they have also been a force for renewal throughout. Competition has led people who have the edge, the new technology, to be a little more successful..

    Good farmers are therefore both conservative and innovative ;)..

    When I speak of corn, excuse me, I mostly think of grain (pronounced korn in norway). But this still doesnt matter, GM is a danger to the original species. I believe in natural selection; maybe with a little help of man. But NOT on the dna-manipulation-level.. Not yet. Its too uncertain. There are actually countless things which could go wrong. Concerning deceases, weather variations, ecosystems, insects, on-and-on-and-on.......

    What we have learned by time is that we sometimes believe we have found the ultimate sollution. Be it lobotomy, DDT, nuclear bombs.. Remember, DNA-fixing is quite new. Being modest, acknowledging our ignorance and proceeding carefully is probably the best we could do.. ;)..

    Stubborn my ass..
     
  19. Dec 23, 2007 #18
    Big business is big business, and to the firms putting out GM seeds which do not compete well with the brand favorite 'original', there is room for improvement and it is only a matter of time before market forces pay out their tune.
     
  20. Dec 23, 2007 #19
    DrClaperton:

    You know, there is a very indistinguishable border between capitalism and communism. You know, none of these ideas are based on human nature.

    Wouldnt the best political strategy be one that is based upon our nature?
    Communism - Share everything, nobody owns anything:
    This is just a stupid stupid ideology. People are animals, decended from animals, and still like animals. We want our territories, we want children.. We have instincts and needs beyond food.
    Capitalism - Everyone for themselves. What stupid **** is this? Everyone for themselves.. This has nothing to do with the human race, and all to do with tube worms. In our evolution our community made us stronger. People were dependent on each other.

    Commies and capitalist are therefore equally idiots. And especially those who use the "the market will sort it out"- argument. The market will NOT sort it out.. They are both strategies who are bound to turn into each other, in everlasting cycles.
     
  21. Dec 23, 2007 #20

    Evo

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    henxan, yes, I fully understand what I posted, it appears, however, that you do not. The corn is not intended for planting, it is for consumption. The link I posted addresses the fears that if the people try planting the corn instead of eating it, it could cross pollinate with indigenous varieties and make selling their local grain to the EU difficult, if not impossible (that was my opening sentence).

    I suggest you go back and carefully read the entire link, all of the concerns and reasons are carefully spelled out.

    Start with the 2nd paragraph in my link, and then tell us what it says. I understand that English is not your first language, so perhaps it is a misunderstanding on your part?

    Here is paragraph 2 for those that might not be able to open the link

     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
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