The Coming Global Food Fight

As food prices force millions more under the threshold of absolute poverty into hunger, with predictable consequences even as aid promises are reneged upon, John Cavanagh and Robin Broad outline a route beyond food security to food sovereignty through rooted communities in this week's guest editorial. The commentary comes as Oxfam launched its global GROW campaign which I'd also suggest you look at: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2011-05-31/broken-food-system-environmental-crises-spell-hunger-millions .

The Coming Global Food Fight
By John Cavanagh and Robin Broad

Food prices around the world are surging. Between July of last year and this January alone, the price of wheat has doubled. Indeed, the cost of food has now passed the record levels of 2008, when angry citizens staged huge protests in dozens of countries. Currently, protesters across the Middle East include lowering food prices among their demands. When prices go up even a bit, millions more people starve.

The local organic farmers with whom we have been spending time in the Philippines and elsewhere are less affected by these price swings precisely because they consume much of what they harvest, and they sell the rest to local markets. These farmers have achieved at the household level what Frances Moore Lappé terms "food democracy," and what the small farmer coalition, Via Campesina, calls "food sovereignty" at a national level.

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