Question Within Food

by inaarahaydari on April 18, 2018 - 11:57pm

Question within food

The article “Why what we eat is crucial to the climate change question” by Ruth Khasaya Oniang’O argues that the impact of agriculture on climate change is bigger than the impact of transportation. The main cause of climate change, according to her, is the carbon emission that is released due to our food systems, accounting for a quarter of the emissions. The whole process for our food to get form the farm to our tables includes harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, etc. It implicates the consumers just as much the retailers and the farmers into this problem, highlighting how food waste has become a major issue as 40 % of the food produced is never eaten. Khasaya Oniang’O also mentions that the food system goes far beyond farming, as deforestation has to take place to free up farmland, and because forests and soil act as carbon sink, it worsens climate change. The impacts of climate change on which this article focuses on is our food, saying that food security affects many millions poor people’s lives. Not much is said about the impacts, but the author offers many remedies and solutions. She firstly gives a bit of hope by saying that younger generations have already started going towards a vegan or insect-based diary. She then states that sustainable agriculture is the best way to go have an equal food system. In addition, she adds that outlets have to be developed where food looking a bit weirder or not being commercially displayed should be sold, so that there is less waste. She concludes by saying that instead of trying to find one system for everyone, we should rather look at what works in and what does not work in systems.

I chose this article because it highlights the importance that not only consumers have in climate change, but also developed countries. It takes on a new perspective that is not much talked about, as it focuses on agriculture rather than transportation. Food security is an important concept, because it both is created by agriculture and affects it first, as people start over-exploiting the land. This relates to one of the causes of environmental migration. Khasaya Oniang’O fairly balances the text, because although she exploits the consumers’ role in this issue, she also gives micro solutions, such as turning to a new type of diet. There is not too much emphasis put on governments, but rather on global citizens, saying that a new food system that values equality should be implemented. This idea that existing systems should be readjusted rather than totally re-invented is both realistic and hopeful.

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