A LA DUST CARTE
This week saw actions and events up and down the country coinciding with the start of the UN Conference on World Food Security, Climate Change and Bioenergy in Rome, taking the form of demonstrations, guerrilla gardening, film nights, workshops and free food stalls – tackling the real issues around worldwide food security, the consequences of climate change, GM foods, rising food costs, the effects on food distribution due to oil scarcity, and biofuels. Key solutions involve lowering ‘food miles’ to save carbon, by switching to more local organic food production away from chemical pesticides and fertilisers, as well as not eating animal products because livestock generates significant emissions and is relatively low yield.
A 2006 UN Food and Agriculture Organisation peer-reviewed report recommends a return to small-scale agriculture, away from large-scale agri-industry, as a response to climate change and economic variables and doesn’t support using GM technology as a solution to starvation (See www.agassessment.org). Within the past year, global food prices have risen by 75%. Prices of wheat, soya, oilseeds, maize and rice are now at record levels. The World Bank has warned that 100 million more people are facing hunger and malnutrition because of rising food prices.
In Bristol, Rising Tide staged a protest at Tescos, Eastville on Tuesday, about the supermarket giant’s false claims about the bio-fuel it sells, and the overall fact that bio-fuels are not an environmentally sustainable answer to oil. Tescos claim their fuel is from UK rape seed oil, where in fact it is from Palm oil. www.risingtide.org.uk/bristol
In London, free vegan food was served up outside a MacDonald’s in Camberwell. Whitechapel Food Not Bombs and Brixton Reclaim Your Food – accompanied by a bike sound system - did skipped vegan food and an infostall about veganism for two hours. Police weren’t too interested but the McManagers weren’t too keen. www.londonfnb.org
On the Sunday (1st) in Manchester, free vegan food was handed out in Piccadilly Gardens, by Manchester Animal Protection and Manchester Climate Action, as well as a bit of guerilla gardening in the garden. www.manchesterclimateaction.org.uk Similar events happened in Nottingham, Liverpool and Sheffield.
In Cambridge on Monday (2nd), activists from Earth First! occupied part of the building and did a banner drop at the National Institute Of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Girton in protest against the trials for genetically modified potatoes at the Institute by BASF (See SchNEWS 631), which will be one of two trial GM crops taking place this year in England. www.earthfirst.org.uk
* For more see www.daysofclimateaction.org.uk