Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Look here: the few farmers in this article practicing eco-agriculture and growing diverse, regionally-appropriate crops are surviving, even thriving, through the food crisis. Everyone else: not so lucky. Happy side effect: people who eat nutritious, diverse diets have better immune systems. Who knew.
Beyond legit disaster relief, all of the money should be going to programs like these, urban, rural, everywhere in the world, starting right now. It’s only going to get more central to our collective survival, not less. Mass starvation has basically been engineered by decades of political and economic manipulations and “food aid” programs that keep people dependent. This is on par with a war crime, a theft of a human birthright: knowing how to secure food in harmony with the land you live on, generation after generation, for free. Respect, gratitude, blessings and all power to everyone out there working for food security and the proliferation of sustainable agriculture everywhere around the world right now, you are heroes.
“Kristof Nordin is a farmer and co-founder of Never Ending Food, an organisation that teaches local farmers about diversifying crops. We meet early evening at his house near Lilongwe, Malawi.
Look what we dug up today – a 21.8kg yam. This is meant to be a drought and the hungry season, but we are growing 200 different foods here – oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, blackjack, maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, millet, you name it. People are begging for food, but we can feed three families throughout the year on next to no land, and have enough left over to sell in the markets.
My wife Stacia is a nutritionist and I am a social worker. We have been in Malawi since 1997, when we came from the US to do HIV-prevention work with the US Peace Corps. We realised we couldn’t address a disease that attacks the immune system without addressing the fact that those immune systems were badly compromised by malnutrition.
There is absolutely no reason for these food crises. The problem is that everyone is focused on growing and eating maize. Malawi has spent 60 years trying to get this Central American food to grow in Africa, and there has been a deliberate stigmatisation of African food. Everything in the west is said to be best; everything from Africa bad.
So we set up our organisation Never Ending Food, and we do internships. We try to show people how to get the most out of their resources, how they can save money and heal the soil. Malawi has a 12-month growing season, access to water and almost 600 local food crops. Yet Malawian farmers are growing only one crop: maize.
This is a tropical country. We should be sending food everywhere. Instead, the US and others are spending millions of dollars on “humanitarian” food aid. It is crazy.