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Archive for April, 2008

“The Thin New World”

The International Living publishing group deserves credit for this nice perspective on today’s multi-faceted turmoil. What the author says about Mexico being a sanctuary from it goes even more for Nicaragua, the safest country in the region:

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"As
oil prices rise, the costs of food production, processing, and
transportation rise as well. Suddenly the connection between what we
eat and how it’s grown, packaged, and delivered becomes painfully real…
The
number of mouths to feed on the planet keeps multiplying without check,
but corporate farmers are now eying the higher profit margins that come
from filling gas tanks instead of stomachs. After all, we desperately
need alternative fuels…look what the price of oil is doing to the cost
of food!"

      

What
is Corporate Farming’s answer? Quit growing food all together…plant
biofuel crops instead. After all what good is food if you can’t afford
to drive your car to the store to get it?

      

As I write, food riots haven’t yet started in Asia, but  parts of Africa and the Caribbean are already  burning.

      

"I watch all this from my little corner of Mexico,
where there hasn’t been a ripple yet, although everyone here is very
sensitive to the price of corn. Corn is one of the Three Sisters of
Latin American nutrition…the other two are beans and squash. When you
put these three things together with some avocado, tomato, chili
pepper, and a bit of chicken or goat, you have the basis for advanced
civilization…the Three Sisters have made it possible for this part of
the world to eat well despite largely marginal farmland since the time
of the Maya Empire.

      

I
don’t eat any more corn than I used to, but even if the price of corn
goes to the moon, I figure I can still live here for about half what I
lived on in the U.S. when I add up my savings on health care,
electricity, and taxes. And since I live in a neighborhood with shops,
stores, and restaurants, I can get almost everything I need within
walking distance, so I’m not sweating the price of gas too much, either.

      

And spending less on all these things means I have more left  to spend on food, at whatever price.

      

For me, this makes my little corner of Mexico
the perfect place from which to watch the modern world’s ongoing
crackup…the war in the Middle East, the U.S. presidential election soap
opera, the meltdown of the global credit shell game…and the coming of
the Thin New World."

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