The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

As Societies Urbanize Food Importation Increases

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This is a phenomenon I’m finding in article after article all over the world.  As societies urbanize, they become more and more dependent on food imports.  In his piece “Do You Remember How Real Organic Food Looks and Tastes Like?” Vladimir Stoiljkovic documents how many Serbian villages are now populated mainly by the elderly as young people leave to find work in cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis.  As a result of this migration:

…only elderly remain to work the land and tend the cattle. However, due to the age limit and all it brings, they are not capable to work the land anymore like they used to, so more and more households in Serbia are abandoned and left to waste.
As a result of this and strong import lobby, the supply of domestic agricultural products from Serbia in shops and markets is decreasing.Serbia, once a country with respectable agriculture and livestock, has in a relatively short time become dependent of food imports. The citizens of Serbia have come to a situation where, instead of Serbian, they every day eat potatoes from China, beans from Tajikistan and apples from Italy, because there is no alternative, especially not in larger supermarkets of the known distribution chains in Serbia, which are, by the way, owned by foreign companies.


Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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