Deflating the Food Bubble

October 15, 2012 By arne hendriks 1

The era of world food security is coming to an end simply because we can’t sustain the way food is produced. Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Research Centre in Washington, says the demands for food are growing so fast that unless we deflate the food bubble at wartime speed, a breakdown is inevitable. The inability to meet growing demands with greater supply have created a situation in which, according to the United Nations, extreme weather in any of the food exporting countries could trigger a food crises. Brown: “Almost 4 billion people live in countries with food bubbles based on farmers’ over-pumping and draining aquifers. The question is not whether these bubbles will burst, but when.”  And water is just the tip of the iceberg. We need new ideas, and we need people to shrink.

How much food we require is primarily connected to size. Even if we shrink our average height by just 10% this would already decrease caloric needs by 20 to 25%. A 20% decrease in height would already mean a 40% reduction in food consumption, and at our projected height of 50 cm we’d only need 150 to 250 calories. For the same reason even the slightest increase in body size creates an exponential increase in caloric needs, and all the resources needed to produce those calories. The global race towards tall stature is in fact a race towards caloric scarcity and hydrological poverty, whereas extreme shrinking means food abundance and more fresh water than we’ll ever be able to drink.