On land, farming, food security & fools

May 13, 2017

In every meaningful and intelligent conversation concerning food. There will of course be the set pieces of power and politics along with perhaps economies of scale and the outrage of how so few decide how and what the rest of humanity regular consumes ….I imagine there might even be some passionate talk about what we should all rightly eat – but at some point in this hypothetical conversation about food. If we are to remain gainfully intelligent….we would ultimately not have to talk plainly about land and opportunity and yield. At some point we may find ourselves incursing on that other unspeakable domain..then are we not actually talking about Lebensraum in earnest?

Whether they are or not is not for me to say….I have my own private thoughts concerning this subject that I do not have an obligation to make public…only it is something compelling to think further about.

Is it not?

So let us not pretend that it is possible to talk about land, farming, economies of scale, genetically modified food, herbicides and to somehow elide the most important facet of the discussion.


‘Do I think that on the eve of the Arab spring when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power it was mere coincidence that the price of wheat flour in the bazaars of Cairo suddenly shot up by 40%?

Do you really think I believe bales of corn flour grown in Nebraska bearing the perfidious faced caption ‘a gift from the American people’ dropped by the WFP in famine stricken Africa moves me to tears?

What about genetically modified crops? Do you really believe I see this as man’s altruistic expression to better his fellow man? How about Cargill going into Africa….has it got anything to do with uplifting the lives and standard of living of most Africans? What about China’s fixation to build railways that even connects the East Coast of Mozambique to the fertile plains of Uganda and Coite de noire might that also have something to do with the whole idea of benefitting mankind? Or coming to think of it…do I really think Olam is just a firm trading cashew nuts and dabbling in futures just to create more value for their shareholders…..In every meditation of the spheres that I have mentioned.

I see not only the bygone age of the machinations of imperialism, subjugating the masses for the sake of the profit of motive, but also the equation of power and politics. Above all I see the struggle for land, space and of course every aspect of what I can only describe as the Clausewitzian definition of the continuation of politics by other means….to put another way, it is lebensraum.

Yes it is fortunate is not that it is just an imaginary conversation. But pray tell, if all other nations choose to play this game and you don’t…then where does it leave you?….There are times when I wished that I did see so many things that I see. As it is usually a cause of profound sadness for me.’

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