[QUOTE=Drumroll;943643]Carbs are cheaper, 'nuff said.
There are, unfortunately, people in this world who are so poor that all they can literally afford is rice, wheat, and corn (and maybe on occasion, some beans). Rather than simply let them starve, I'd tell them to eat up!
We will never be able to move from our dependence on carbs until we learn to fix the problems of the poor. And frankly, that may never happen.
To dive in on the conspiracy theory a little bit though, to eliminate carbs from our diet would throw a wrench in our economies that would be so catastrophically large... I wonder if it would be even worse than the global economic disaster that we're ALREADY facing![/QUOTE]
Carbs are only cheaper because we are mining water and petroleum to grow them. Crop farming is much harder labor than raising livestock if you don't have petroleum.
We cannot fix our dependence on carbs if we are importing midwest grains to arid lands where people have overshot population in regards to what their landbase can support. There may be other humanitarian solutions but continuing to send them cheap grain only allows their population to grow unnaturally.
The more people we have on Earth, the more we have to rely on grains to feed everyone. The more people we have on Earth, the bigger the catastrophe is going to be when the crops fail.
To address the permaculture question from earlier and the point about Salatin's farm. In addition to being located in a wet, fertile area, remember that he has been on that farm for decades and improving those soils that whole time. Currently Midwest soils are in extremely poor shape. Yields are propped up by anhydrous ammonia use (as well as other soil additions - Calcium, etc.). Seriously, Midwest crop farming is simply soil mining. If, somehow, we decided the Midwest was going to go to permaculture, it would take a lot of work/years to get our soils back to health. Soil health = yield. The crop farmers I know will not change their system until it's too late.
When I think of the plains of North America, that used to support herds of hundreds of thousand bison/buffalo, that are now turned over to corn and soy that can only be grown there with massive human/energy intervention, I am sickened. And on a smaller scale, I am very intrigued by the cycling of cattle and crops on land that has shown increased yield for both. But since it is more usable for small farms, and not agribusiness, good luck getting it in widespread use.
And, Nycteris, I think you have your terms mixed up. Looking at our elderly, I am certain that it is an ugly, long-drawn out death from grains. True starvation is supposed to actually be a relatively painless, almost euphoric way to go, due to the substances your body produces as it is breaking itself down. (Not that I want anyone to go out that way. Just saying.)
Point taken, Sabine - I was really being visicious with my descriptives, but after looking at my post again, if I was really trying to learn something, I would have been mislead. Thanks for the redirect.