Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Rita's still serious...

I know we're here for a (relatively) short time and a good time, and I particularly live by that code - but I can't speak for the rest of the population of the world.

An AgriFood conference was held at Rydges in Melbourne last week at which amongst many issues, the following was discussed:

‘The present food crisis is a forewarning of what the world can expect in the decades ahead as civilisation runs low on water, arable land, nutrients and technology, as marine catches collapse, as biofuels expand, energy costs soar and as droughts intensify under climate change. And as global demand for food doubles.’

‘This is nevertheless an exciting time for farming. For the first time in over 40 years, the terms of trade are swinging in farming’s favour. Costs are rising – but so too are commodity prices. There has never been a better time in the last two generations to be a farmer, an agricultural scientist or someone who works in, or for, agriculture. Once more, young agricultural professionals are being challenged to feed and clothe the world. Once more governments are being forced to pay attention to their needs.’

‘Sustaining the earth’s food supply is the greatest challenge of our age, more urgent even than climate change.

If we fail, we sentence our grandchildren to famine, dislocation and war.’

So - far be it for Rita to switch the alarm bells on, but we need to pay attention - then have fun!
Posted on by Rita


Forde Montgomery said...

It's also a good time for farmers to switch from European livestock to farming our Australian natives (roo/wallaby/etc). Had we been doing this since settlement we would be in a lot better shape environmentally. Methane emissions would be lower, soils would be in better condition, less land clearance would be needed. The benefits are huge!

Anonymous said...

Rita, the big question remains is how you are going to solve all these problems with the quantity of lemons that you requested in your last blog?

Have you found a way to run your car on lemon juice or when fed to cows do they prevent excessive methane output?

Thats all I can think of.


Forde Montgomery said...

Well 1 lemon can power a lightbulb! So who knows what a whole heap of lemons could achieve.

Anonymous said...

Thats fabulous news FM!

What useful information we all pick up on this blog! Maybe we can save the planet after all.

After all that talk about guns on the previous blog I thought that maybe Rita was using the lemons to clean her guns and I thought we all might have to be a bit more careful in what we say other wise she might search us out and shoot us all!

A bit like Auntie Jack!


Rita said...

P - I wanted the lemons to make Preserved Lemons. Simple. If I thought for one moment they might fuel my car I'd be out each night scouring all suburban backyards for lemon filled trees!
You surely have an active imagination to imagine Rita searching you out and shooting you!
And unlike Aunty Jack I don't even like motor bikes!

Anonymous said...

I guess it is just the sudden change of tone that has me concerned, its all very well for our own Hobart Mercury to run scare stories but Rita, you suddenly have become a bit serious.

By the way I had another great $10 meal at what I thought was Maloneys but is Montgomeries. This time the special was Chicken Schnitzel with a choice of three or four sauces.


the Gobbler said...

Rita, thanks for keeping this issue up there where it belongs despite the overload of distractions, fripperies & diversions that unfortunately seem to be the currency of reply on this blog.

You deserve better responses.

Its a shame that a few persistant voices seem to ignore that the very backbone of your informative blog has its roots consistantly in the way in which we might deal with our looming food crisis. Its a shame that some cannot look beyond the chattering exchanges of the comments to the integrity & essence of your posts.

Being the buoyant optimist that you are, I'm sure you dont despair at the seemingly shallow pool of response that commit you to being 'too serious' when you blog of issues close to your heart.

Me Rita, ever the cynic though, thinks its a sad reflection on the state of thinking when all that some can come up with after your last post is;

'Has anyone been to Piccolo yet?'

Rita said...

P - it's not a scare story, that's the point. You're absolutely correct to suspect our hallowed Mercury of possibly adding a few adjectives and flowery sentences to enhance a story (particularly on a boring news-less Monday or Tuesday) but maybe, just maybe, if a few see another opinion and version of current issues, they might well start to sit up and pay a bit more attention to the state of the world today.

My job involves thorough research into many related subjects. Professionally I can do nothing about it, other than being aware of it. In my private life, at least I can point out to anyone listening or reading any commonalities I notice. It's not me being a sensationalist. It's me being concerned, and caring.

I'll resume restaurant reports (and am off to a much anticipated meal at Meadowbank soon) but I do have a serious side, which hasn't really emerged till now, especially with Gobbler not blogging and doing his 'bit' for the cause.

Many thanks Gobbler, for your words. I'm so glad you're up and about again.