If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you already know that I (and and many of my colleagues) have some thoughts on how food is produced and distributed here in the U.S. For a sampling of some of our thoughts on the issue, click here, and here, and here (and while you’re at it, go ahead and click here too).
These are pressing issues and worth our reflection. For one, so many of our food practices exacerbate global hunger and poverty. When it takes 10 pounds of feed to raise one pound of beef we strain food supplies (I know this is a simplification, but it still carries some truth). When 1/5 of our oil consumption is spent on producing and distributing our food we harm the environment by depleting finite natural resources and releasing harmful gases that cause global climate change (which, by the way, is the number one issue if we want to talk seriously about sustainable development of impoverished nations and feeding hungry people). When we subsidize large companies to make cheap food that then causes health problems we perpetuate a cycle of poverty (the last article linked above explains how this happens well). In short, there is lots of room for improvement when we look closely at how we do food in America.
Now, as I see it, there is no easy solution to all of these problems. I admit that I don’t know all the nuances and complicating factors. It is for this very reason that I need to think long and hard about the issues. I think the starting point is awareness that there is indeed a problem (of this I am certain). The next step is to find those ways in which we truly address root problems.