Part 14: What threatens our food supplies?

The last three blogposts gave seven examples of food supply disruptions. This one categorises other threats to supplies in this infographic:

In summary, the situation is grave, especially as the chances are several of these threats might well hit our food supplies at any one time.

Are we in crisis, given the info in all the previous blogposts and in the infographic above?

If we’re not, we soon will be.

And what to do about that and when is the subject of the next blogpost.


(1) This link takes you to the first of these blogposts. It has links to the other two posts in the footnotes.


Question from PB:
Is water and food insecurity as a result of climate change predictable the next thirty years up to 2050 and beyond?

Climate change — and population pressures — will have huge impact on water and food security, leading to a series of existential crises for many millions of people, if not (nearly) everyone.

Given the number of threats on the system, and their interactions, means shorter-term predictions about what crisis will happen when and where are difficult to impossible.  As with weather predictions, though, we can ‘see’ some short-term impacts, and can and should take heed of previous events, and the ferocity and frequency of their occurrence.


Question from SM:
What are your views on the adaptation of technology to regulate food security and production (agriculture 4.0)? In particular, what do you understand of the ability of blockchain technology to control food production?

Technologies will increasingly affect every aspect of our lives, including the food system.

Re agriculture 4.0: A lot of talk, a lot of potential. The fundamental issue re agri-production is that we need intensive farming for a growing population, using less land.

It’s referred to as ‘sustainable intensification’. An oxymoron? Possibly.

And remember from the function map, that primary production is a tiny part of what it takes to feed a population. Vital, sure, as without it, we ain’t got a food system . . .

Re block chain: Again, a lot of talk, a lot of potential; see this 2020 article in Food Manufacture: Applications of block chain technology in the food industry.

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