Tag Archives: Food

Plans Being Made to Feed 9B People in 35 Years – What Will They Do for 10B? 11B?


This article from Wired magazine shows the weakness of American popular culture.  It is good that the authors see potential problems from the population explosion, and try to come up with a way to feed the 9 billion humans expected to live by 2050, but this is a very shallow consideration.  Certainly much thought and work should be applied to this issue, but do the authors think time and the population explosion will stop there?  What do they expect to do when the population – enabled to have even more children by the plentiful food supply – continues to explode and reaches 10 billion, 11 billion, and then 12 billion? Continue reading

Food Supply Risk is Increased by Decline in Home Canning and Storage


As recently as 50 years ago it was common for American families to have gardens and can or freeze what they produced.  Many people also waited for seasonal produce sales to stock up, canning or freezing the surplus food for consumption over the following year.  In addition, many people had root cellars where they could store apples, potatoes, onions, and many other food items for months at a time including over the winter.  Interruptions in the shipments of food into an area were troublesome, but not a serious problem because most people had stores of food they could subsist on for weeks or even months if necessary.  Times have changed significantly, however, and the majority of people today not only do not can or preserve food, but don’t even know how to do this.  The food in most homes would last for days or weeks at most, not weeks or months as in the past, suggesting the average person’s ability to survive in a food shortage is greatly reduced.  Why has this happened? Continue reading

Can We Invent Our Way Out of the Population Explosion? Not the Way You’re Thinking.


We invented our way into this situation. Many of our past inventions made life easier, food more plentiful, etc., and enabled population growth. When anything threatened to kill us off, we fought it with creativity and developed technologies to deal with it.  Except for those inventions specifically aimed at killing people or managing our birthrates (the Chinese “One Child Law“, for example), our inventions have permitted us to thrive and propagate more and more effectively, and to increase our numbers at faster and faster rates.  The problem we perceive now is that sooner or later the needs of our unchecked population will exceed available resources.  This would seem a normal pattern for any life form, but there are plenty of examples where animal birthrates slowed inexplicably in the face of food shortages.  That makes it seem that humans have lost the instinct for avoiding population-driven catastrophes (if we ever had it), which leaves our fate up to us.  It also suggests the population challenge will require types of creativity we haven’t used before, or often.  So just  how smart are we? Continue reading