17 September 2012

Monday Infographics: Food Security

This week's Monday Infographic comes from Oxfam International, courtesy of Engineering for Change. The human food system has become, to a large extent, truly global. There was a time when just exotic foods and spices were transported across oceans for those willing to pay, but now the most basic of staples are shipped and traded by the ton: corn (maize), wheat, rice, sugar, soy, fruits, etc. Food production depends, of course, on water and climate and seasonal weather cycles. It also depends on markets, governments, and profit-making interests around the world.

Note that this infographic is oriented primarily on African and Asian food production, as for it's source organization. It therefore does not mention the pressures on food production from biofuel requirements and subsidies in the US and Europe. In the globalization of food trade, however, that link with energy has become important and forms just part of what I call the "true nexus" that is becoming more visible and pervasive, and more complicated, in international discussion. I'll save that for another post, however, as I'm still working out how this "true nexus" might best be presented...


From Oxfam International, by way of Engineering for Change.

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