Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Farmland under attack worldwide and locally

Do you want to live where there is no local food supply?

If you are interested in eating locally, you need to pay attention to zoning regulations and changes of farmland to residential or industrial purposes. In fact, the problem of farmland loss is getting so prevalent that international organizations are trying to raise awareness of the problem. It is both local and international, and here are some links so that you can see for yourself.

Local First

Locally in Kitsap County Washington, it is hard sometimes to determine what is good and what is bad. The question always remains: "What are the gotchas?"

Rural Wooded Incentive Program sounds good on the surface, however trading development credits on a piece of prime land for some poor land allows unequal trades without consequences except to you and me. This is a common practice for farmland, too.

When developers -- the dirt dogs who want to quickly turn an easily developed piece of land to a small financial profit -- nice-sounding pieces of local regulation begin to pop up, like this one: TITLE 21: Land Use and Development Procedures Code Development Process. The first paragraph of this reads " Kitsap County is currently updating Kitsap County Code Title 21 ‘Land Use and Development Procedures’. The goal of the update is to create a more streamlined and user-friendly code." Innocuous or hostile to farmland? That is the question.

Internationally: creating "Blood Food"

As food production is curtailed in other areas of the world, for all food production is local somewhere, supply and economic pressures rise. Famine can be created in areas with farms because all the food is taken somewhere else and sold. There is lots of talk about "blood diamonds," but there is "blood food," too. We read very little about this, but it is happening right now.

Here are several links to articles on this topic (if this blog is over one month old, you may not be able to access these). They are from FT (Financial Times) the world's leading economic newspaper, which is featuring a series of articles called The global food crisis Published: April 13 2008 18:21 | Last updated: May 6 2008 16:29

Tokyo aims to halt ‘farmland grabbing’, By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo and Javier Blas in London, Published: May 25 2009 19:31 | Last updated: May 25 2009 19:31

The global food crisis: Africa almost giving land away, says UN"
, By Javier Blas in London, Published: May 24 2009 22:05 | Last updated: May 24 2009 22:05

The global food crisis: Food security fuels land grab, says report By Javier Blas in London, Published: May 24 2009 22:05 | Last updated: May 24 2009 22:05

This reminds of Joni Michell's song "Big Yellow Taxi." Her version is awesome, but so is Amy Grant's and Counting Crow's versions. The line of this song that is my theme this issue is "They take Paradise and put up a parking lot."

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