Following all of the reports last week of the Amazon Forest burning made me realize that I’ve put many deep issues involved with food production on the back burner. It’s easy to get sucked into complacency when food is readily available from one source or another.

Referring to my last week’s column, I wouldn’t have known about the millions of dollars being invested in Brazil to grow crops and livestock had I not been researching food sovereignty.

Food sovereignty is the right to grow healthy and culturally appropriate food using sustainable and ecologically sound means, along with the right to define our agricultural and food systems. All of which is vastly being ignored in the colonizing of Brazil where Indigenous tribes are being forced off their land. Meanwhile, investors are thriving on creating ever-larger farms with cheap labor, and synthetic fertilizers and microbes – all in the name of feeding people.

To one extreme, I would venture to argue that it is true that we need to produce more food in response to every growing, glutinous appetite and the willingness to throw away good food (48% of produced food is wasted). On the other hand, some people are very well-fed while others grow hungry, so it’s difficult to support this argument when the gap between those who are well-nourished and those who are hungry continues to grow in spite of greater food production.

How do we feed people and address our food sovereignty concerns? We need to get to a place where we say “in some manner, we are all guilty” and have a willingness to take in information with an open mind and a thirst for more.

In meeting everyone’s needs, developing local, national, and international policies which do more good and less harm is paramount to success.

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