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#1 2004-06-05 10:36:24

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

*I thought this would be the most appropriate folder to place this in.  I generally dislike "cart ahead of the horse" types of discussion, but...

In the event Mars is terraformed some day -- and other planets/moons as well -- how can we best ensure -everyone- will be fed and nourished there?  How can potential future worlds and their societies avoid starvation, malnourishment, etc.?

I still can't get over the numbers of people starving to death (or on the fringes of starvation) here, today

Yes, I know there are issues of corrupt gov'ts blocking aid/food/etc. -- distributing donated goods to feed their armies thereby making the general civilian populace starve. 

Is this more an issue of politics than sheer resources?

I think of some celebrities who brag about spending $50,000 on a frickin' shower curtain while flies crawl around the noses and mouths of starving African children.  This is outrageous and maddening.

I'm cutting down quite a lot on consumption, my spouse and I recycle tins and boxes, and we're taking other measures as well to "do our part."

But anyway, back to the original question:  How can we ensure future generations of other-worldly residents will be fed and properly nourished in the face of the grim facts here on Earth?

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2004-06-05 11:14:32

PurduesUSAFguy
Banned
From: Purdue University
Registered: 2004-04-04
Posts: 237

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

I would guess that 100 or 150 years from now when we have large populations on Mars, the Jovian Moons, and if we are really lucky and there are some physics break throughts possibly the stars, large scale nano technology will be a relatity and the only requirement will be carbon. Agriculter could be relegated to the realm of the black smith.

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#3 2004-06-06 16:43:18

~Eternal~
Member
Registered: 2003-09-25
Posts: 211

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

If you could synthesis Proteins, Vitamins, and Carbohydrates essentially the amount of food could only be limited by the laws of conservation.


The MiniTruth passed its first act #001, comname: PATRIOT ACT on  October 26, 2001.

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#4 2004-06-06 17:49:09

Trebuchet
Banned
From: Florida
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 419

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

The issue is one of politics, not resources; the world has more than enough food for the starving masses in various places, but stupid bureacratic pissing matches and local warlords using food as a weapon prevent that food from reaching its intended recipients.

Basically food shortages can be divided into two kinds:

a) Deliberately induced famine by local warlords, who run farmers off their land and then prevent or hamstring efforts to distribute relief. The general goal is slow motion genocide of disliked groups or 'food blackmail' of the starving people. My preferred solution to this is to shoot the warlords in question. Basically, there would be no famine in these cases save for the actions of evil bastards, and with the removal of said bastards, local food production will return to normal and relief food can be sent to who needs it in the interim.

b) Local catastrophes that disrupt food supplies in conjunction with third-party interference in supplying relief. Usually when an area is affected by some disaster (drought, hurricane, volcano, whatever) nations send aid fairly fast, you see it all the time and might have donated food for such efforts. The problems arise when third party concerns interfere with the distribution of the food relief for this disaster. A recent case was where the US was sending grain to Africa, but the EU started some trouble because the grain came from genetically modified sources. The end result was malnutrition while the US and EU 'resolved' (read: screamed at each other until they lost interest) the issue and distributed the food.

With current agricultural techniques I don't fear feeding people on Mars or otherwise in space, the yields are very robust. In fact, my chief worry isn't about the crops but about water. As long as the colonists (on Mars or anywhere else) have water they'll have plenty of food.

BTW, here on Earth it's more helpful probably to donate money to microlending institutions and the like in developing nations, ecrasez. Those generally give local farmers the funds necessary to make improvements in their farms which will make famine of the second kind less likely, and it will also make food cheaper in those areas too, meaning that people are more likely to get all the vitamins and minerals they need (because they can buy more than just staples_

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#5 2004-06-07 05:30:37

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

I agree with Trebuchet, Earth famines are not caused by lack of land or even farming knowledge. Like his point a and b and I want to add to b) the lack of disaster planning e.g. stocks.

and I want to add:

c) Farmers prefer to plant coffee or even cocaine/opium as it brings in more money then feeding the local population.

d) Local farmes actually compete with the food aid programs. You got people getting food almost for nothing from Europe and the USA and local farmers producing the food at maybe twice the cost. Which one do you think people will buy? And the farmer goes bankrupt.

The US and Europe have been accuses of dumping there excess stocks on third world countries. Else it would have been destroyed. So even if they sell at a loss its better then getting nothing.
--

I also agree with the micro lending as foreign aid and IMF loans go straight to the dictators swiss bank account.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#6 2004-06-07 07:30:35

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

I agree.
    Almost all the trouble is politics or money or bad management. If you really think about it, most of us could probably grow vegetables and raise chickens in our backyards if we had to. (We had a chicken run in our yard when I was a kid.) And fruit trees aren't so hard to grow either.
    The above may seem like puerile suggestions in the face of world poverty and starvation but, if each one of us really thought seriously about food production and what we could do to become as self-sufficient as possible, like the old days, the industrialised world would have a much bigger surplus.
    And if agricultural subsidies were eliminated, as they have been in Australia (well, nearly, we're down to only 4%, while New Zealand provides only 1% support to its farmers), farmers would be forced to grow what is actually needed.

    The world has plenty of food for everyone, Cindy, or at least there's no good reason why it shouldn't have. The famines in the world are all due to money, politics, and other bulls***!!
                                                sad


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#7 2004-06-10 00:24:50

MarsDog
Member
From: vancouver canada
Registered: 2004-03-24
Posts: 852

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

The predators numbers are limited by a prey predator ratio.
Hunger is the drive which creates the ratio. The predator with the unsatisfied hunger perishes. The prey cannot overgraze because of the constant need to avoid the predators.
-
In human populations people can become prey or predator, sometimes in an abstract way. In space, hunger will still be the motivator.

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#8 2004-06-10 01:47:24

Trebuchet
Banned
From: Florida
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 419

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

True. Personally I produce enough oranges for every conceivable use for oranges I can think of, and still have plenty left over. I also get a few bananas, but they grow kinda marginally, unlike the two orange trees (which are fairly large and monstrous in size, respectively...)

I eat and juice the oranges, give them away, have animals steal half, donate piles of them to charity, and still have leftover oranges. Yeesh. I used to grow a lot more food as sort of a hobby, because there's a sort of coolness factor to growing your own food. Same sort of thing that makes me occasionally want to go fishing. I don't get 'sport' fishing, nor flower gardening, if the end product isn't edible, it seems a waste of time.

BTW, were you to do a little genetic engineering with corn, it would be the ideal Martian grain; it yields far more than 'normal' grains, and hybridizing to increase the yields even more should be doable if you train the settlers on earth. Florida is as different from Nebraska as you can get without mountains (hot, swampy, etc) but corn grew just fine. I'm just not sure if you can brew 'corn beer' but if so, that would be good, too; unfiltered beers, like they drank in the Middle Ages, were actually fairly rich in vitamins. The various industrial processes we put beer through removes the vitamins and some of the taste, as well...

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#9 2004-06-10 03:36:10

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

I'm just not sure if you can brew 'corn beer' but if so, that would be good, too;

You can make alcohol from pretty much anything that rots. Just add some sugar and yeast.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#10 2004-06-10 05:14:17

Trebuchet
Banned
From: Florida
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 419

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

Make alcohol, yes, but is it *good* alcohol?

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#11 2004-06-10 05:32:44

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

It depends on your personal tastes and the person making it. You got a lot of alcoholic drinks that are use different stuff then beer and they taste good.

For instance sake is made from whine. My mother used to make a drink as strong as whiskey from potatoe peelings. And people loved it and paid much for it. Or there was this story of a french prisoner that made alcoholic drinks in his cell by keeping fruits in his drawer. Prison officials who caught him and tasted it said it was not bad at all.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#12 2022-03-25 10:28:46

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 3,392

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

'Superoxides for Oxygen Farming on the Moon and Mars'
https://scitechdaily.com/superoxides-fo … -and-mars/



Perhaps Overly-Strict lockdowns during Covid was the first blow, now comes the Fallout of War


Biden warns food shortages are 'going to be real' across the globe because of Putin invading the world's 'breadbasket'
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl … asion.html

As Russia’s war in Ukraine threatens global food supply, Asia needs a rethink of biofuel push
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/lifestyl … upply-asia

Joe Biden Warns of Food Shortages in Wake of Russia–Ukraine War: ‘It’s Going to Be Real’
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/biden-warns-f … 11879.html

The Great Commodities Supercycle of 2022 Continues To Break New Records – What’s Next?
https://www.fxempire.com/forecasts/arti … ext-933587

How Putin’s War Is Fast Changing Our Energy Future
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2022/03/24/ … gy-Future/

Vladimir Putin’s ugly war of annihilation in Ukraine has probably ended globalization as we know it,

Biden warns of global food shortages as Russia-Ukraine war upends wheat supplies
https://nypost.com/2022/03/24/biden-war … raine-war/

Australia may be far from Ukraine but we won’t avoid the economic fallout of war
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr … out-of-war

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2022-03-25 10:32:51)

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#13 2022-03-25 12:38:41

Terraformer
Member
From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,531
Website

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

They could always end the ethanol mandate. That would free up enough corn to feed... quite a few people. Not quite a billion, but it's definitely measured in the hundreds of millions. Switching cows onto grass only would free up yet more grain for feeding people.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#14 2022-03-25 18:18:11

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,975

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

Terraformer wrote:

They could always end the ethanol mandate. That would free up enough corn to feed... quite a few people. Not quite a billion, but it's definitely measured in the hundreds of millions. Switching cows onto grass only would free up yet more grain for feeding people.

Good call.  The EROEI of corn derived ethanol as a fuel is <1.  It literally makes zero sense turning high grade food into engine fodder.  That corn could feed the middle east and go a long way to mitigate any supply shortages resulting from the whole Russia-Ukraine clusterfuck.  Let us hope that Biden has a moment of clarity before things get too bad for those hungry people.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#15 2022-05-19 13:45:49

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 3,392

Re: Feeding everyone - ...future of other worlds (and this one)

The banks collapsed in 2008 – and our food system is about to do the same - George Monbiot | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr … regulators

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