December 2008
Food Crisis: Record profit and hungry people


The current meltdown of the global financial system has knocked the crisis caused by runaway food prices out of the news. The fate of investment bankers simply gets more ink than that of those on the edge of starvation. But there is a common thread here - irresponsible profit-seeking with little regard for the future of the vulnerable. The December issue dissects the 'perfect storm' of conditions that have devastated agriculture in the global south and is undermining the world's ability to feed itself. The current food price boom is connected to a longer term trend that has created a trap of dependency on an industrial food system based on food imports and agro-chemical inputs. But the NI discovers that it doesn't take Houdini to find a way out.








2 Letters

4 Year of living dangerously
Richard Swift on the hard edge of hunger in a year of perpetual crisis.
Action - a new diet for the world food system.

7 Profits in hungry times
Agribusiness and industrial farming: 10; farmers and the famished: nil. A report from the campaign group GRAIN.

10 Food last!
Across the world, popular protest has demanded adequate food and fair prices. Stephanie Boyd reports from Cuzco in Peru.

12 We care too... Ag-Inc advertorial
The NI gives big agribusiness its say.

14 Meat's too expensive
Chris Brazier makes the case for a green and fair diet.


18 Peak soil
David R Montgomery on the one thing we can't afford to run out of.

20 Selling out the farm
Ray Burley is caught in the cost/price squeeze.

21 Fusion time
A new way not only to cook but to organize the whole food economy - Wayne Roberts stirs the pot.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Financial crisis

23 The road to meltdown
How did we get here? David Ransom takes a global - and historical - look.

25 Clean start - creating a fair global economy
Out of the ashes of the crash, how are we to create a fairer future? New Internationalist asks leading experts from around the world to focus on specific areas and propose practical action for change.

30 An historic opportunity for transformation
Late-night meetings between Asian and European social movements produced the beginnings of a manifesto for change ? the 'Beijing Declaration'.


32 Southern Exposure
Photographer Ernesto Fernandez recalls the dawn of a new age as Cuba celebrates the 50th anniversary of its revolution.

33 Making Waves
More than just a boardgame, according to its makers, Andy Sheerin and Andy Tompkins, the War on Terror challenges the terrorism taboo.

34 Mixed Media
Three outstanding films, including the 5-star Baader Meinhof Complex; haunting music from Armenia and Greece; Mark Thomas belches out the Coca-Cola devil while John le Carré's latest novel skewers the deserving.

36 Big Bad World
Polyp on female beauty and male laughter.
Plus : NI Prize Crossword





NI Japan




<This month's translation>

- Year of living dangerously (NI p4-6)

- Food - A Saner Way (NI p4-5)

- Profits in hungry times (NI p7-9)


- Fusion time(NI p21-22)

<Reporting from Japan>
-- Food Sovereignty - how to save Japan and the world from the food crisis
by Mashima Yoshitaka (Japan Family Farmers Movement)


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