Wednesday, April 23, 2008

School Food Funding Stopped in 3 Countries

I heard a report today on Market Place (public radio) that I would like to share. I would also invite comments that offer positive steps toward solutions to this kind of situation.
The commentary left me feeling helpless and, surely, that is not the case.
Read the full transcript at: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/23/wilkinson_food_crisis/
Here is are excerpts:

"Food prices have risen so high that the Programme has had to stop school food programs in three countries. That's as the U.N. Secretary-General says close to $800 million is needed to cover the expenses of the agency's emergency operations. Commentator Will Wilkinson says the American political process contributes to the inflation of worldwide food costs.

The recent run-up in prices is hitting the world's poor especially hard. But this mess is largely the aftermath of a perfect storm of American special-interest politics.

The supply of corn is at an all-time high, but those gains in production aren't going into peoples' bellies; they're going into American gas tanks. According to a new World Bank report, almost the entire increase in the global production in corn over the last three years went into biofuel production here in the U.S. Meanwhile, many farmers worldwide have switched their crops to corn to profit from surging biofuel-driven demand. This has pushed up the price of other grains, like wheat.

The real problem is the nature of electoral politics, which encourages politicians to meddle in markets and pick winners as they cruise the campaign trail. This makes worries over global warming or energy independence more likely to result in a bonanza of special interest subsidies than in any real improvement.

Usually, it's taxpayer wallets that take the hit. This time around, it's hungry children."


sources:

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/23/wilkinson_food_crisis/

cross posted at Coffee Grounds and Eggshells and Vox Nova

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