Are Cities Going to Starve Us?

Are Cities Going to Starve Us?


It is common to hear
older individuals quipping that that “they just think
it just comes from the grocery store.” As metropolitan areas like Vancouver, Edmonton
and Toronto continue to expand into nearby agricultural areas; we have to ask ourselves
a question. Are mega cities good for the planet, or are
they going to starve us? Somewhere warm, green, and with plenty of
water nearby. You might even think to yourself “somewhere that food can grow well”. We are told that that eating local is more
sustainable, and better for the environment. Well, there’s a catch with that last bit…but
we’ll get to that in a moment. If these were some of your thoughts, then
you would likely have decided to build in many of the same locations
as today’s biggest cities. Before cars, it wasn’t just convenient, it was necessary to live very
close to your food source. Many of the world’s biggest cities are surrounded
by the most fertile land. Transportation was key as well, meaning cities
often sprung up near navigable waterways and open plains facilitating the movement of resource
over land and water. Much of the Greater Toronto Area covers what
was once one of Canada’s greatest fruit tree producing regions. Looking across the border to the United States
shows many examples of cities sprawling into the countryside. A NASA study looking at major US cities has
this to say in regards to the impact of city location on agricultural
production: That means that half of the theoretical agricultural
capacity of the United States has been paved over by its’s biggest cities! While much of the nation’s largest crop,
corn, goes into the production of ethanol rather than being utilized as food. Another study on the subject referenced by
The Guardian newspaper, sought to map out the future expansion of cities
into agricultural areas globally: Many in prosperous western nations haven’t
known severe food shortages since World War II, but food supply is a problem for a significant
portion of the earth’s population. According to the Food Aid Foundation: While increased mechanization of farm equipment,
along with modern agricultural practices produce greater yields, we are still faced with challenges
to the global food supply. Periodic famine and drought, along with the
scourges of war dictate that we not only need to grow food enough to feed ourselves, but
also for times of hardship. With all the talk of climate change and its
impact on both us and on our food supply, whether you believe in anthropogenic warming,
or even a coming solar minimum induced cooling, we might first consider the pressing issue
of protecting our farmland from being turned into skyscrapers and warehouses. If we don’t stop and consider
the impact this development has on our sources for food, it
won’t be long until trouble of famine heard of in other parts of world
comes knocking on our door to.

6 Replies to “Are Cities Going to Starve Us?

  1. When urbanites grow resentful of agricultural use of water and land they bite the hand that feeds them. And they should know that the vast majority of corn grown in the US is not irrigated. It doesn’t need to be.

  2. Makes a lot of sense, NOT to bury agricultural land under pavement and skyscrapers! The bigger the city gets the less farmland for crops! I'm firm believer that people need to be spread out a bit, and not all jammed together in a skyscraper apartment complex. The more farmland a Nation has the more employment opportunities for the people! Granted you'll always have those who want to partake of the crop, but don't want to help harvest it.

  3. This video is naive. High-skill demographics are shrinking due to low birthrates. This video makes no distinction between OECD countries and 3rd world countries. Germany and Japan are shrinking: food shortage is impossible. USA cannot have a food shortage for various economic reasons. This video is ill-concieved and pointless. Please delete it.

  4. This is ridiculous millions upon millions of Acres to grow food . More climate change propaganda, you know the government pay farmer to" not" grow crops every year to turn it into grassland for so many years, so they don't have a surplus and drive the market down.
    The best land for farming they fenced off and farmed lol you add up population of states in the middle of the country, it's probably same as N.Y metro population ? Hardly anyone living in vast amounts of the United States ?

  5. Cities aren't able to move or choose what to do.
    So the answer is, NO.
    Cities are not going to deny us the ability to find and consume food.
    What a weird idea to think a city can do such a thing.

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