Political Ecology of the World Food System Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Political Ecology of the World Food System

In the readings examined for this paper, the one central theme is the way politics affects how the environment is treated and how that treatment of the environment then correlates to the food and clean water supply of people all over the world. Nitrogen in fertilizer is one of the big problems, because it does more than just get into the crops which it is designed to assist. Fertilizer, according to Little (2009), is "yet another by-product of fossil fuels" (p. 148). Those fossils fuels are affecting the environment in a very negative way, but fertilizer is important to the growth of crops that people need in order to have enough to eat. It becomes a conundrum when there is a "bad" product that many people do not want used, but that product is basically required to create what is needed to sustain human life at the level of population currently seen on the planet.

In countries like Ethiopia, where there are "more than 13 million people needing food aid," it is not fertilizer but simply land on which to grow crops that is the issue (Vidal, 2010). People are starving to death every day there, but the government is providing land for the wealthy. Naturally, that is doing nothing to help the poorest of the poor survive. Much of the sought-after land in Ethiopia is for agro-fuels and biofuels, both of which are supposed to be "green" energy but really pose many problems for the environment and the future of the human race. According to Holt-Gimenetz (2007), "the moderate emission savings are undone by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil carbon losses." In other words, the "green" energy really is not "green" at all. The agro-fuels might be better for the environment in and of themselves, but that does not mean the way in which they were created is at all good for an environment that is already struggling with problems from overpopulation and related issues.

Because there is so much going on all over the planet in regard to the way the soil and other components of the environment is being treated, one wonders where the future is headed. There…

Sources Used in Document:


Holt-Gimenetz, E. (2007). The great biofuel hoax. Indypendent. Global Policy Forum.

Little, A. (2005). Cooking Oil. Power Trip, Chapter Five, p. 147-177.

Vidal, J. (2010). How food and water are driving a 21st century land grab. The Observer. Global Policy Forum.

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