Food systems as perpetrators, victims and solutions


A short post to nudge you to read Jason Hickel’s latest article. He explores how climate breakdown could cause a global food crisis and how the very food we eat is part of the problem (and potentially the solution).

Here are a few stand out quotes, starting with something we are dealing with directly at TGT:

Half of Asia’s population depends on water that flows from Himalayan glaciers—not only for drinking and other household needs but, more importantly, for agriculture. For thousands of years, the runoff from those glaciers has been replenished each year by ice buildup in the mountains. But right now they’re melting at a much faster rate than they are being replaced. On our present trajectory, if our governments fail to accomplish radical emissions reductions, most of those glaciers will be gone within a single human lifetime. This will rip the heart out of the region’s food system, leaving 800 million people in crisis.

Next up, the irony. Food systems are both perpetrators and victims of climate breakdown:

There is a troubling irony here. Climate change is undermining global food systems, but at the same time our food systems are a major cause of climate breakdown. According to the IPCC, agriculture contributes nearly a quarter of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

What this of course means is that we don’t need to look too far for a way to ease the climate crisis. It involves a rapid and determined effort to change the way we grow, process and eat food.

In addition to dietary changes and cutting food waste, the IPCC finds that a rapid shift away from conventional industrial farming methods toward regenerative techniques—agroforestry, polyculture, no-till farming, and organic approaches—would go a long way toward restoring soils, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, improving long-term yields, and making crops more resilient to climate change.

In Nepal, by enabling organic agro-forestry we are helping in both mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Please support our work, so that we can do more of this for more Himalayan families. Without your support their food systems are going to collapse.

A monthly donation of £10 will enable us to train 30 farmers in organic agro-forestry. Thank you.