On Halloween, 10 Terrifying Things About Our Food Systems

Halloween pumpkin pie bites from the Bakerella Blog -- much more benign than that very real -- and scary -- issues facing our global food systems.

Halloween is a time for merriment: pumpkin carving, candy gathering, apple bobbing, and crazy costuming. It’s also a time to think about the scary things in our world. The bloggers at the UVM Food Feed have found is that it’s the truth that is oftentimes more terrifying than the paranormal. If you look at our food system, there are frightening things you will see every day if you scratch under the surface. We’re not talking about haunted houses and witches on brooms. We’re talking about real impacts that affect our economy, environment, health and society.

Here are just a few of them. (Add yours in the comments section).

10. Food insecurity is on the rise. Just take a look at what’s happening here in Burlington.

9. Resilience of our food system is being tested by climate change and natural disasters. Case in point: Hurricane Sandy – and, one year before, Tropical Storm Irene. Imagine a resilient future.

8. SNAP makes it nearly impossible to eat healthy and local, seriously undermining the strength and future of populations in poverty. Read about one student’s experience doing the SNAP Challenge

7. The average age of an American farmer is 57. Beginning farmers aren’t getting the support they need to revitalize the future of agriculture. One young farmer talks about his experience.

6. Food cultures around the world are dying due to globalization – like the 9,000-year-old food culture of Oaxaca, Mexico.

5. The conversation about what is good for us and what isn’t is being muddied by special interests, sensational journalism and a narrow-minded focus on simply feeding people versus an examination of the critical aspects of our food systems. Example: the recent debate over organic.

4. Labor continues to be an invisible aspect of our food systems – yet, one of its most vulnerable aspects. Also invisible: food justice and diversity.

3. A not-so-nutritious transition has caused a global health crisis and epidemic. Overconsumption is killing us…literally.

2. We are in a policy bind. Simply put, existing policy limits our ability to make change.

1. We need to figure out now how to feed 9 billion people by 2050. How will we do it? 

Posted in: Economic, Environmental, Health, Social.