Feeding a world in poverty

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Feeding the world is an ongoing debate and the industry’s argument on needing pesticides and GMOs to increase production levels are always overstated and well publicized.

But no matter where you are in the world, if you have money and as long as a money economy in that place exists, you would be able to buy yourself some food.

The difference between you and the hungry is not production levels; it’s money. There are no hungry people with sufficient money; there isn’t a shortage of food, nor is there a distribution problem.

In other words, the solution to world hunger is to eliminate poverty. The current system of buying off property of farmers in developing countries, using up their water supplies, raw materials, and crops to feed the international markets in our globalized economy does not allow those farm to grow and distribute their own food, nor does it allow them to develop their economies. Boosting yields in Europe or in the United States will still not provide people in developing countries with the means of buying the food they need.

If you look at the big picture there isn’t really any lack of food. We are wasting 40% of it; be that in production, in processing or simply by throwing it away. A lot of it is going to feed animals, due to our humongous meat consumption while massive amounts is being converted to fuel. Take the United States for example. Although it is the most agriculturally productive country in the world, they still have the highest percentage of hungry people in any developed nation.

The majority of the world is fed by hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers, some of which are themselves among the hungry. The rest of the hungry are underpaid, unemployed or exploited workers. Boosting yields by adding more pesticides or GMOs will do nothing for them – besides poisoning their soils and their drinking water.

The real question we need to be asking is how can we help end poverty? In the current system we live in, we cannot. Citizens of developing countries are being stripped of their resources, negative externalities are not taken into consideration in pricing and everyone loses while a few corporations or people will benefit.

That is no news, of course. Problems fixed by industrial agriculture are easier to be fixed than those created by inequality, especially in a population that is so big – and growing. Organic, sustainable and more intelligent farming is the kind of farming that can teach generations to come to be focused more on quality rather than poisonous yields. It can preserve biodiversity, human health and sovereignty.