Culinate

Food for all

A scientist tackles global hunger

By
February 5, 2013

Here at Culinate, we’ve been mulling a good bit over an article on food choices by the agronomist Ricardo J. Salvador. (The piece appeared in Green Fire Times, a sustainability-focused publication based in New Mexico.)

Salvador, the director of the Food and Agriculture Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, penned a lengthy essay about our global food issues. He doesn’t mince words about the fundamental problem:

Almost a billion people on the planet — one in eight of us — are hungry. It is meaningless that global food production is sufficient for all of us to eat well (in fact, it is nearly twice the necessary amount) because the fact that food exists doesn’t mean that it is available to all.

The problem is worse in the U.S., in fact, since as Salvador notes, one in six of us go hungry on a regular basis:

They aren’t hungry because there is insufficient food in the U.S. They are hungry because we have created a modernity where food is not a right, where food is manufactured and delivered through a mighty investment that must be recovered and turn a profit, and where food therefore flows to those with economic power. . . . There is already more food produced than necessary for the purpose, yet we see that livestock, biofuel refineries, and American trash bins have priority for this food over the hungry.

Salvador offers up a twist on the Slow Food slogan of “good, clean, and fair” food: “healthful, green, fair and affordable.” And he calls for the U.S. to finally ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, a United Nations treaty dating back to 1966 that declares the “fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.”