Marketplace is a great NPR show that focuses on economic issues, technology, and business alongside some fun human interest stories that always make me giggle on my afternoon commute. Recently I caught an installment of their year-long project entitled Food for 9 Billion. This monthly series is a look at the future of global food supply and all the complications that come with a growing world. The most recent story is how Ghana is adapting to depleted soils. Unfortunately they’ve been ‘mining’ the nutrients in the soil without using sustainable farming practices that enrich the soil and rebuild the nutrients that makes the dirt work. Add this to a sponsored program of Monsanto’s seeds, fertilizer, and herbicides, and the soils are left wanting- and so are the farmers that need to feed the continent. Other stories include Somalia’s drought-inspired famine- millions are starving due to lack of centralized government and blocks of food aid; half a million Somalis already have escaped to Kenya to live in refugee camps, and they are still hungry. The list also include a story about how Bangladesh will continue to feed its millions on marginal, salt-soaked land. And, in the Philippines, explosive population growth expands cities into the country and makes the nation dependent upon imported food to feed the two million babies born each year. Most women in the Philippines do not have access to family planning, and thus children continue to be born, and families continue to starve.
Check out these and many other fascinating food policy and sustainability stories at Marketplace.org.
Andrea Devon Bertoli is a vegan chef, teacher, blogger, and yogi based on the gathering isle of Oahu. Follow her foodie adventures at Vibrant Wellness Journal and Manis Kitchenworks.