New Internationalist

Cover for December 2008 - Issue 418

December 2008's Issue

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. This 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.

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Featured in issue 418

Dear Barack Obama

Uri Avnery tells the US President Elect that he needs to act from Day One for Israeli-Arab peace - and suggests what needs to be done.

Route 42 to Dystopia

Anna Chen reckons we’re all being driven towards a dystopian future, and that the next stop could be terminal…

The Baader Meinhof Complex

A stirring film, from the first graphic action scenes, showing police attacking demonstrators, and it never flags, never seems staged.

The War on Terror Boardgame

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

Profits in hungry times

Agribusiness and industrial farming: 10; farmers and the famished: nil. A report from the campaign group GRAIN.

The Silence of Lorna

Lorna, an Albanian working in a Belgian laundry, needs money to open a snack bar. The first step is citizenship, so she marries a very sick heroin addict who no-one expects to live very long.

Peak soil

David R Montgomery on the one thing we can’t afford to run out of.

Meat's too expensive

Chris Brazier makes the case for a green and fair diet.

Big Bad World 418 - Female beauty and male laughter

Polyp on female beauty and male laughter.

Food Crisis - The Facts

The increase in global food prices may have temporarily stalled but food is expected to remain at record price levels for the foreseeable future. Industrial agriculture’s chickens have come home to roost. But the price is being paid not by agribusiness and food retailers but by small farmers whose income remains low, and by the millions being pushed into malnutrition.

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We Care Too...

The NI gives big agribusiness its say.

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Belching Out the Devil

There is a company which manufactures and distributes concentrated sugary syrup and the way it conducts its affairs is the subject of Mark Thomas’ enormously readable book.

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.

A Most Wanted Man

John le Carré’s latest novel could hardly be more topical or timely, dealing as it does with the seamier reaches of international banking and the nether-world inhabited by the fugitive and the stateless.

Waltz With Bashir

Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s latest is an animated docudrama in which the director and his friends play key roles deciphering a dream that is connected to Israel’s war with Lebanon.

Ernesto Fernandez

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

Manners and the man

In the damp, dark winter, Maria Golia finds cold comfort in a pharmacy queue.

Deserted Villages

Made in tandem with the Albanian accordionist / composer Dasho Kurti, the 11 songs on Deserted Villages offer a broad palate, and not all of it mournful.

Food last!

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

Fusion time

A new way not only to cook but to organize the whole food economy – Wayne Roberts stirs the pot.

Gomidas Songs

Certainly some of these songs may have once been heard over fields and cradles rather than concert halls, but their translation from private to public music is a beautiful one.

Selling out the farm

Ray Burley is caught in the cost/price squeeze.

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