Hunger - real causes/solutions - not genetic engineering/GNN-NEWS

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 14:06:49 -0400


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FWD Nov 16, 1998 via Grassroots News Network
http://www.onr.com/user/gnn


THE MYTHS ABOUT WORLD HUNGER


The world produces enough grain to provide every human
being on the planet with thirty-five hundred calories a
day, according to a new book by the Institute for Food
and Development Policy (also known as Food First). This
estimate does not take into account many other commonly
eaten foods, such as vegetables, beans, nuts, root
crops, fruits, grass-fed meats and fish. When all foods
are considered together, there is enough to provide at
least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day.

Hunger persists despite the fact that increases in food
production during the past 35 years have outstripped the
world's population growth by about 16%. Worldwide, an
estimated 786 million people have inadequate access to
food. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 30 million people
cannot afford a healthy diet.

According to "World Hunger: Twelve Myths," powerful
misconceptions block our understanding of the true
causes of hunger and thus prevent us from taking
effective action. "The true source of world hunger is
not scarcity but policy; not inevitability but
politics," said Dr. Peter Rosset, Executive Director of
Food First and co-author of the book. "The real culprits
are economies that fail to offer everyone opportunities
and societies that place economic efficiency over
compassion."

First published in the early 1970s, this updated edition
takes into account multiple changes in the world that
have occurred since that time -- such as the end of the
Cold War, rising hunger in the U.S. and economic
globalization. The information revolution and explosion
of new and advanced technologies have not solved world
hunger, in large part because national and global food
systems today are increasingly controlled by a few
powerful corporate interests. These corporations control
availability and cost of food while the world's millions
of poor are increasingly barred from political decision
making on issues related to production, access and
distribution of food.

Many of the countries in which hunger is rampant export
more agricultural goods than they import. For example,
India ranks near the top among Third World agricultural
exporters. In 1995, while at least 200 million Indians
went hungry, India exported US$625 million worth of
wheat and flour and US$1.3 billion worth of rice, the
two staples of the Indian diet. In addition, the
American Association for the Advancement of Science
found in a 1997 study that 78% of all malnourished
children under five in the developing world live in
countries with food surpluses.

Although rapid population growth remains a serious
concern in many countries, the Food First book states
that nowhere does population density explain hunger.
Like hunger itself, rapid population growth results from
underlying inequities that deprive people, especially
poor women, of economic opportunity and security. Rapid
population growth and hunger are endemic to societies
where land ownership, jobs, education, health care and
old age security are beyond the reach of most people.
Those Third World societies with dramatically successful
reductions of population growth rates -- China,
Colombia, Cuba, Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala
-- prove that the lives of the poor, especially poor
women, must improve before they can choose to have fewer
children.

"World Hunger: Twelve Myths" brings together evidence to
support the case that with different policies in place,
the world could feed itself. For example, large,
industrial farms are not necessarily the most efficient
and productive way to grow food. A study of 15 countries
(primarily in Asia and Africa) found that per-acre
output on small farms can be four to five times higher
than that on large estates. Even comparing output only
on actually cultivated land, small farms are still
significantly more productive. In Japan, the government
carried out major land reform after World War II,
transforming tenant-farmers into owner-cultivators.
Today, Japanese cereal yield per acre is one of the
highest in the world, and these small farmers have
achieved middle-class standards of living.

"Hunger is caused by decisions made by human beings and
can be ended by making different decisions. To be part
of the answer to world hunger means letting go of old
frameworks and grappling with new ideas and approaches,"
said Rosset. "This will enable us to stop twisting our
values so that economic dogma might remain intact while
millions of fellow human beings starve amid ever greater
abundance."

"World Hunger: Twelve Myths, Second Edition" by Frances
Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset with Luis
Esparza is available from Food First for
Source/contact: Food First/Institute for Food and
Development Policy, 398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94618;
phone (510) 654-4400; email foodfirst@igc.org;
www.foodfirst.org.


Grassroots News Network
http://www.onr.com/user/gnn
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receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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FWD Nov 16, 1998 via Grassroots News Network 

http://www.onr.com/user/gnn



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>THE MYTHS ABOUT WORLD HUNGER

</paraindent>


The world produces enough grain to provide every human 

being on the planet with thirty-five hundred calories a 

day, according to a new book by the Institute for Food 

and Development Policy (also known as Food First). This 

estimate does not take into account many other commonly 

eaten foods, such as vegetables, beans, nuts, root 

crops, fruits, grass-fed meats and fish. When all foods 

are considered together, there is enough to provide at 

least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day.


Hunger persists despite the fact that increases in food 

production during the past 35 years have outstripped the 

world's population growth by about 16%. Worldwide, an 

estimated 786 million people have inadequate access to 

food. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 30 million people 

cannot afford a healthy diet. 


According to "World Hunger: Twelve Myths," powerful 

misconceptions block our understanding of the true 

causes of hunger and thus prevent us from taking 

effective action. "The true source of world hunger is 

not scarcity but policy; not inevitability but 

politics," said Dr. Peter Rosset, Executive Director of 

Food First and co-author of the book. "The real culprits 

are economies that fail to offer everyone opportunities 

and societies that place economic efficiency over 

compassion." 


First published in the early 1970s, this updated edition 

takes into account multiple changes in the world that 

have occurred since that time -- such as the end of the 

Cold War, rising hunger in the U.S. and economic 

globalization. The information revolution and explosion 

of new and advanced technologies have not solved world 

hunger, in large part because national and global food 

systems today are increasingly controlled by a few 

powerful corporate interests. These corporations control 

availability and cost of food while the world's millions 

of poor are increasingly barred from political decision 

making on issues related to production, access and 

distribution of food.


Many of the countries in which hunger is rampant export 

more agricultural goods than they import. For example, 

India ranks near the top among Third World agricultural 

exporters. In 1995, while at least 200 million Indians 

went hungry, India exported US$625 million worth of 

wheat and flour and US$1.3 billion worth of rice, the 

two staples of the Indian diet. In addition, the 

American Association for the Advancement of Science 

found in a 1997 study that 78% of all malnourished 

children under five in the developing world live in 

countries with food surpluses. 


Although rapid population growth remains a serious 

concern in many countries, the Food First book states 

that nowhere does population density explain hunger. 

Like hunger itself, rapid population growth results from 

underlying inequities that deprive people, especially 

poor women, of economic opportunity and security. Rapid 

population growth and hunger are endemic to societies 

where land ownership, jobs, education, health care and 

old age security are beyond the reach of most people. 

Those Third World societies with dramatically successful 

reductions of population growth rates -- China, 

Colombia, Cuba, Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala 

-- prove that the lives of the poor, especially poor 

women, must improve before they can choose to have fewer 

children.


"World Hunger: Twelve Myths" brings together evidence to 

support the case that with different policies in place, 

the world could feed itself. For example, large,

industrial farms are not necessarily the most efficient 

and productive way to grow food. A study of 15 countries 

(primarily in Asia and Africa) found that per-acre 

output on small farms can be four to five times higher 

than that on large estates. Even comparing output only 

on actually cultivated land, small farms are still 

significantly more productive. In Japan, the government 

carried out major land reform after World War II, 

transforming tenant-farmers into owner-cultivators. 

Today, Japanese cereal yield per acre is one of the 

highest in the world, and these small farmers have 

achieved middle-class standards of living.


"Hunger is caused by decisions made by human beings and 

can be ended by making different decisions. To be part 

of the answer to world hunger means letting go of old 

frameworks and grappling with new ideas and approaches," 

said Rosset. "This will enable us to stop twisting our 

values so that economic dogma might remain intact while 

millions of fellow human beings starve amid ever greater 

abundance."


"World Hunger: Twelve Myths, Second Edition" by Frances 

Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset with Luis 

Esparza is available from Food First for 

Source/contact: Food First/Institute for Food and 

Development Policy, 398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94618; 

phone (510) 654-4400; email foodfirst@igc.org; 

www.foodfirst.org.



Grassroots News Network 

http://www.onr.com/user/gnn

Grassroots Film & Video Festival

http://www.onr.com/user/gnn/film





 ** NOTICE:  In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107,

     material appearing in the Grassroots News Network e-mail list

     is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior

     interest in receiving this information for research and
educational

     purposes.  Submissions are welcome. **


Grassroots News Network

4522 S. 2nd St

Austin TX, 78745

http://www.onr.com/user/gnn/

gnn@grassrootsnews.org


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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