12 Myths About World Hunger - PowerPoint by Jason

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									World Hunger 12 Myths
Food First
Text extracted from 12 Myths about Hunger

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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

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

Famine in Ethiopia

– Society values economic efficiency over compassion

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

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 in Brazil for hardwoods • Deforestation • Pesticides


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

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
Bolivian Farmer

• Distributes land to small farmers • Successful in raising yields

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
Kenya Market

• Through taxes, credits, land reforms

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”
Soybean Harvest in Brazil • Working people pitted against one another
– 1 million jobs lost in U.S. – 1.3 million jobs lost in Mexico

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
Zapatistas in Mexico • Large corporations • U.S. Government policies • World Bank and IMF


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

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
Sweat Shop in India

• Helps free us too

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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