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World Food Day: On the central, enduring (and other) roles of smallholders in feeding the world (in 12 tweets/images)

Sketch of moving farmer, Edouard Manet

We’re celebrating this World Food Day (#WFD2013) journalist Mark Bittman in a New York Times opinion piece, How to Feed the World (14 Oct 2013), on the central and enduring value of smallholder farming in feeding the world sustainably. Read the whole article. It’s very good.

We’ve added some of our favourite artworks, all (kindly) made freely available through wikipaintings. (Are these images of the past? for children? of our future? us to decide?)

12 tweets yesterday (@SusanMacMillan: Have you got 12 tweets to share? Please do: Comment in the box below or link to your website.

01 Our #food system, neither environmentally nor economically #sustainable, is geared to the over- & under-fed

Still Life with Bread and Eggs, Paul Cezanne, 1865

02 There is not the land, water or fertilizer—let alone health care—for world to consume Western levels of meat

The Sausage Shop, Stanley Spencer, 1951

03 Stop assuming industrial model of #food production & its accompanying disease-producing diet is inevitable

Station L 112, Paul Klee, 1923

04 Smallholder farmers are not only here for good, they’re more efficient than industrial (factory) farmers

Ram, Niko Pirosmani

05 Diversifying & mixing plants & animals, smallholders can produce more food w/ fewer resources & lower transport costs

A Cow Like That Gives 5000 Litres a Day, Maria Primachenko, 1978

06 If you define productivity as the # of people fed per acre, US ranks behind China & India-same as Bangladesh

Two Peasant Women Digging Potatoes, Vincent van Gogh, 1885

07 The playing field has been tilted against peasants for centuries & they’ve still fed more people than industrial ag

The Milkmaid, Paul Gauguin, 1889

08 With the right training & a fair #food system, it’s a safe bet that peasants will be able to feed themselves & others

Farmer Milking Goat, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

09 Formula for hunger & obesity: Remove ability to produce food & to pay for food & replace real food with bad food

Breakfast, Pablo Picasso, 1953

10 Ask not how much food is produced; ask how it’s produced, for whom, and at what price, cost and benefit

Woman Grinding Maize, Diego Rivera, 1924

11 We need more investment in researching the benefits of traditional farming

The Watering Trough, Marc Chagall, 1925

See ILRI’s Third Way

(Landscape with Cow), Henri Rousseau

12 Supporting peasant farming is one key; the other is reining in Western-style monoculture & the American diet

Peasant Woman Bending Over, Vincent van Gogh, 1885

Read a related article on ILRI’s Clippings Blog:
‘The health of the poor is the wealth of the poor’: A little film for a big World Food Day and World Food Prize, 16 Oct 2013.

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