Bill McKibben wrote a fascinating essay about what happened to Cuba when the Soviet Union collapsed and withdrew its support. He wrote: "Cuba became an island. Not just a real island, surrounded by water, but something much rarer: an island outside the international economic system, a moon base whose supply ships had suddenly stopped coming." The economy shut down because the electricity for the most part was turned off. But they couldn't "improvise" food, as McKibben writes. At first, everyone got by on much, much less food, but eventually devised a different system: "Cuba had learned to stop exporting sugar and instead started growing its own food again, growing it on small private farms and thousands of pocket-sized urban market gardens—and, lacking chemicals and fertilizers, much of that food became de facto organic. Somehow, the combination worked. Cubans have as much food as they did before the Soviet Union collapsed. "
Read McKibben's article here: