How to Feed the World: Imagining a New World
We began this series with a few assumptions that will come in handy now that we’re wrapping this up. Our first assumption was that we eat food for two reasons; for energy, we need and for micronutrients. Each food source contains both, but some are primarily eaten for the abundant calories they provide (most notably cereals, nuts and seeds, tubers, and animal-based foods), while fruits and vegetables satisfy our needs for minerals and vitamins. This holds a clue for what we’re about to discuss next.
Again, both categories are crucial, but energy is still slightly more critical. Our bodies have a lot of reserves in terms of nutrients, but not so much for energy. Even extremely obese people cannot go without food for long because their large bodies also have higher energy needs, and the metabolic rate of metabolizing their fat reserves is too slow for a fully active life. When I did prolonged water fasting, I felt like a 90-year-old. My mind was fresh, but I could barely walk. Yet my blood-work at the end of the fast was still perfect.
Since it is unlikely that 99% of the population is willing to give up their current life for farming and gardening, we will still need professionals growing our food. But, we also need to be involved as individuals a lot more than we are now. This means you and me need to start “sacrificing” a slice of our private and professional life to food production. Otherwise we don’t stand a chance.
How to organise ourselves then?
Many kinds of systems of production exist; feudal, communist, and capitalist come to mind first. I will dismiss the feudal for now and look at the latter two that have been tested in the 20th century, and sadly both failed. Perhaps it is time to learn lessons from both and find something that would work for the benefit of humans and not for abstractions such as political parties or companies. It does not need to be perfect; it only needs to be better than what we currently have.
In communism, the commons own the means of extraction and production (in theory), which are then managed by the political elite. In an ideal scenario, the political elite does it…