We have often heard of the spread of invasive species, plant species like Japanese knotweed in Ireland, for instance. We come up with measures to remove them, so they do not wreak havoc on the local plant species and land. Yet we have not really considered the most destructive and invasive species of them all.
We are exhausting our freshwater supply, filling our environment with waste, exploiting natural resources to extract oil, gas and raw materials.
A recent article in the Guardian said that the source of the world’s food, it’s seeds, are in the control of just four companies. It also highlighted, for instance, global banana sales are controlled by one company, the enzymes for cheese production are produced by one company.
So whilst we may have a variety of foods from around the world, there is much less variety in each food type as the food supply is owned by a select few companies. They are choosing the most profitable foods to produce and the cheapest way to produce them; not the healthiest or most sustainable.
There was at a time in the not so distant past that there was more variety within crop species, which meant that humans had a more varied diet. Also the food was not “brought in” from other parts of the world so the crops were of the place and adapted to their environments, supporting the land and soil structure. This meant all was in balance.
“Calling for greater diversity seemed like an indulgence. But now we’re starting to realise that diversity is essential for our future” (The Guardian).
There is concern, we see it everywhere; people are suffering from eco-anxiety. The problem is that economic growth has taken precedence over environmental and social sustainability.
We have placed more and more demand on food supplies as there are more people on the earth. Our consumerist society has left the human species rampant on the world, overbuying and overproducing and sucking the life out of Mother Earth. All while we think we are “living our best life”.
Greta was right. How dare we.