Food Crisis Resources

September 19th, 2008

September 19, 2008

The current rise in food costs in the US and shortage abroad seemed to have happened suddenly. This week we explore the factors that led to this situation and when they actually began. Is this a temporary condition or will it worsen? Find out what you can do to deal with the impact this crisis. With Sharon Astyk of the blog Casaubon’s Book and author of “Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front,” Bettina Luescher from the U.N.’s World Food Program, and Janet Larsen of the Earth Policy Institute.

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Bettina Luescher is a former CNN International anchor who made a life changing decision. Rather than continue with the career climb in the broadcast industry, she chose to become a spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Program. In this role, she witnesses, first hand, the depth and breadth of the challenge of feeding those who are hungry.

The UN World Food Program is the world’s largest international food assistance organization combating hunger in underdeveloped nations with severe food shortages. The frontline stretches from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to Latin America and Asia & the Pacific. They help:

Victims of natural disasters like the 2006 East Africa drought, the Pakistan earthquake and Hurricane Stan in 2005, the tsunami disaster and Bangladesh floods in 2004, the Iran earthquake in 2003 or Hurricane Mitch, which affected one million people in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatamala in October 1998.

Displaced People – both refugees and internally displaced persons to leave towns and villages in places like Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia.

The world’s hungry poor, trapped in a twilight zone between poverty and malnutrition.

The World Food Program serves in two ways. First it mobilizes food assistance for delivery to natural and man-made disaster areas. Second, its rapid response team draws-up contingency plans designed to move food and humanitarian assistance fast into disaster areas.

Truly they are an unheraled champion that deserve our appreciation and support.

Interview with Bettina Leuscher | Download MP3

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Jl2Janet Larsen is the Director of Research of the Earth Policy Institute, She is a co-author of The Earth Policy Reader and has written on topics ranging from natural resources availability to population growth and climate change. Her research has been translated into various languages and featured in a number of print, on-line, and radio publications

The Earth Policy Institute was founded May 2001 by Lester Brown and Reah Janise Kauffman to provide a vision of a sustainable future and a plan for how to get from here to there.As a small organization with a global mission, the Earth Policy Institute has designed a unique information dissemination model, capitalizing on the synergy between a worldwide network of book publishers, the communications media, and the Internet. Through this distribution network, countless individuals and organizations have become aware of the environmental issues facing the world and many have been inspired to take action

Check out the new book “Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Third Edition” by Lester Brown that crystalizes their impact on solving some of the most difficult challenges on the planet. It is certainly a key voice that bears our attention.

Interview with Janet Larsen | Download MP3

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astykSharon Astyk is a writer, teacher and subsistence farmer, and the author of two books on Peak Oil and Climate Change —“Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front” (Sharon Astyk) which is just published and and A Nation of Farmers (And Cooks) (Spring ‘09), the latter co-authored with Aaron Newton. This is Sharon’s “encore” on our program. She brings a clarity about the world’s pressing issues and a pragmatic wisdom on getting into action now to do something about these challenges.

Sharon’s frequent writings can also be found at her Blog Casaubon’s Book and Hen and Harvest. We wonder how Sharon has time to be a farmer and a mom and write so prolifically. We forgot to mention she is also a teacher. You can find out at her website more about the wonderful on-line learning experiences she offers.

Interview with Sharon Astyk | Download MP3

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