Farming battles and the future of food

November 10, 2009

Everybody wants to end hunger, but just how to do so is a divisive question that pits environmentalists against anti-poverty campaigners, big business against consumers and rich countries against poor.

The Food Chain Campaign is not about becoming vegetarian, say the Friends of the Earth, it is about putting pressure on the government to mitigate the damaging impact of meat and dairy production on the environment.

“The meat and dairy industry produces more climate-changing emissions than all the planes, cars and lorries on the planet,” argues the group. “A hidden chain links animals in British factory farms to rainforest destruction in South America.”

London-based Kirtana Chandrasekaran shared the goals of the campaign with Reuters.

Related Story: The fight over the future of food


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Kirtana, you are right! Industrial farming in the U.S. requires tremendous amounts of oil to manufacture fertilizer. When the world passes peak production of crude this practice of farming will be unsustainable. The concentrated livestock practices here in the States creates a huge animal waste problem affecting air and water quality as well as meat safety.

The logical solution is to go back to small farms that raise livestock. Pastures can be rotated with crops greatly reducing the need for industrial fertilizer and mitigating all other environmental concerns as well.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

It is an inevitability that the third world will starve. This is obvious, simply because of the growing overpopulation problem in these nations.

This will soon be combined with external events such as climate change and the falling of global fossil fuel reserves.

Eventually, the population issue will solve itself. Starvation and the spill on effects (war, disease, ect) will return human numbers to a managable number.

The rich nations will have more then enough, though some changes will need to be expected. More money will be spent on securing their own interests, and mitigating the effects of the inevitable problems which will be experienced in the third world.

Of course, at this point groups such Friends of the Earth will have less relevence. When practical reality knocks at the door, idealism jumps out the back window.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive