The Right to Food: Security vs. Solidarity

Democracy Now! brings us this report on food security and land grabs, with Olivier De Schutter , United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and Smita Narula, faculty director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University Law School.


The current practice of foreign governments and private investors of buying agricultural land in order to "secure assets" contrasts with the "Reigndom" practice of solidarity.

Land is the ultimate investment, the perfect product to accumulate, as private investors (read: Wall Street and transnational corporations) attempt to "hedge" their risk.

Of course, those really at risk are not given any voice. Local communities are not consulted about their land rights or use, as shown in the above interview and corresponding report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice on Foreign Land Deals and Human Rights.

I am reminded of the Accra Confession by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) who recognized at its publishing in 2004 the consequences of uncontrolled globalized consumerism. 

The Accra Confession denotes that private property is exempt from social responsibility. And that the global system of neoliberal political economy "defends and protects the interests of the powerful…. Further, in biblical terms such a system of wealth accumulation at the expense of the poor is seen as unfaithful to God and responsible for preventable human suffering and is called Mammon. Jesus has told us that we cannot serve both God and Mammon (Lk 16.13). CIMG0439

One solution that addresses the reality of resource-rich and income-poor countries is supporting small (1-5 acre) farmers, who work in community tending their land. The land is their livelihood.

The church universal represents wellbeing, abundance, and peace, not fear, security and exploitation. As stated in the Accra Confession, "The church stands in solidarity with people who are suffering and struggling."

The opposite of love is not hate, but fear.