You are what you eat

How do you feel about your food security?

In a tragic, Jared Diamond-esque realization, it might strike you that the entire South American continent hung by an agricultural thread, and then fell. Specifically in the Yucatan Penninsula, with the expansive plots of crops nestled in too-thin dirt, an extended spell of no rain caused the spongey earth to cake up and kill the crops, and, subsequently, the civilization.

So much for Aztec urban planning.

However, we are not immune to similar legendary catastrophes. Much attention has been given to Food Security in recent past. The famous economist T. Homer-Dixon writes much about how resource scarcity, especially food and energy, are the seeds of inter-national conflict and war. With the emergence of high-powered GIS and analysis, a ‘Famin Early Warning System‘ was produced a short while ago to model risks. Attention at the L. D. Earth Obersvatory, Columbia University, has kept global-perspective detail on draughts that can – and will, beyond a shadow of a doubt – re-occur in the near future.

And now, an upcoming lecture:

“Room at the Table for Everyone: Challenges to Global Food Security in the 21st Century.”

Professor Don Smith – Chair, Plant Science Department, McGill University

Friday, October 21, 2005
Redpath Mueum Auditorium

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