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World Hunger 12 Myths Food First uco.jpg Text adapted from 12 Myths about Hunger

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Presentation on theme: "World Hunger 12 Myths Food First uco.jpg Text adapted from 12 Myths about Hunger"— Presentation transcript:

1 World Hunger 12 Myths Food First uco.jpg Text adapted from 12 Myths about Hunger

2 Myth 1 Not Enough Food to go Around Reality: –Abundance of food 3,200 calories/person in grains Also vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, grass-fed meats, fish. –Most people too poor to buy the food –Many hungry countries are net exporters of food Vietnam food market

3 Myth 2 Nature is to Blame for Famine Reality: –Food is always available to those who can afford it –Starvation hits the poorest –Human institutions, policies determine who will eat during hard times –Millions live near disaster Deprived of land Debt Low pay –Society values economic efficiency over compassion Famine in Ethiopia

4 Myth 3 Too Many People Reality: –World is undergoing demographic transition Birth rates dropping due to decline in death rates –No direct correlation between population and hunger Hunger in Nigeria –Sparsely populated Wealth in Netherlands –Densely populated –Population growth due to poverty and inequity People’s lives must improve before birth rates drop

5 Myth 4 The Environment vs. More Food? Reality: –Environmental crisis is threatening food production –Efforts to feed the hungry are not causing the environmental crisis –Profits for developed countries are the problem Deforestation Pesticides Deforestation in Brazil for hardwoods content/uploads/2007/10/istock_000003249271devastation480x319.jpg

6 Myth 5 The Green Revolution is the Answer Reality: –Green Revolution: Huge production advances with improved seeds –But economic power Still concentrated in hands of a few Poor cannot afford to buy grain –Hunger persists while grain exports have increased India Mexico Philippines “Father” of the Green Revolution

7 Myth 6 We Need Large Farms Reality: –Large landowners control best land Often leave much of it idle Often inefficiently farmed by tenet farmers –No incentive –Small farmers 4-5 X output/acre Work more intensively –Land Reform Distributes land to small farmers Successful in raising yields Bolivian Farmer

8 Myth 7 The Free Market Can End Hunger Reality: –Market is efficient in distributing food If you can buy it –To end world hunger via the market Must have widely dispersed purchasing power –Is a role for government to help disperse purchasing power to the poor Through taxes, credits, land reforms yhTI/AAAAAAAAAQI/TmliZn1dSmA/s400/Market.jpg Kenya Market

9 Myth 8 Free Trade is the Answer Reality –In poorest countries Exports boomed, hunger worsened –Brazilian soybeans Feed cattle in Europe and Japan Brazilian hunger grows –NAFTA: “race for the bottom” Working people pitted against one another –1 million jobs lost in U.S. –1.3 million jobs lost in Mexico Soybean Harvest in Brazil

10 Myth 9 Too Hungry to Fight for Their Rights Reality –People do fight for their rights Mexico South Africa –People will feed themselves if allowed to –We need only remove the obstacles we have placed in their way Large corporations U.S. Government policies World Bank and IMF Zapatistas in Mexico

11 Myth 10 More U.S. Aid Will Help the Hungry Reality: –Most U.S. Aid works directly against the hungry Aid used to –Impose free trade –Promote exports –Provide arms –Emergency humanitarian Aid Only 8% of total Undercuts grain production in receiving country Benefits U.S. Grain companies Little reaches the poor –Best Aid: relieve Debt burden

12 Myth 11 We Benefit from Their Poverty Reality: –Continued world poverty and hunger is a threat to American –Jobs, wages –Working conditions –Helping free others from oppression Helps free us too Sweat Shop in India

13 Myth 12 Curtail Freedom to End Hunger? Reality: –Civil liberties Not threatened by ending hunger –Economic security for all Guarantees liberty Consistent with our nation’s founding vision Important for ending hunger –Right to unlimited accumulation of wealth? Not compatible with ending hunger Contributes to inequity –Unjust

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