How are we responsible for starving to death tens of thousands of people every day?

Background:

Enough food is grown in the world to provide over 3500 calories per day to every man, woman and child. That's more than enough to make everyone obese. So how could there be so much hunger in the world? How could so many people wind up starving to death? The answer is social injustice.

Small-scale farmers and their families are a majority in many Third World countries. These farmers and others go hungry because the fertile lands on which the farmers used to grow affordable food for themselves and their countrymen have been stolen to grow export crops, usually in conjunction with U.S. agribusiness companies. The bulk of world hunger, killing nearly twenty million people a year, is caused not by droughts, overpopulation or scarcity of food, but by this type of injustice.

The United States is the key player in this global food system.  First, our huge, comparatively wealthy population creates enormous demand for these export crops, fueling the spread of export agriculture around the world.

Second, the United States has always provided crucial support -- political, economic and military -- to the undemocratic (or pseudo-democratic) governments which rule in the interest of those who steal the land, and brutally crush any protests against that theft.

"Starving to death tens of thousands of people a day"

So, we steal food from the Third World poor by using our economic might to cause the best farmland in these countries to be used to grow food for us, not for the inhabitants of those countries.  

And we insure their continued starvation by our long-time support of the governments in those countries which -- with our full knowledge -- torture and commit other horrific human rights abuses against those who try to change the situation.

For a more detailed examination of this issue, see 12 Myths About Hunger and the other resources provided by the organization Food First.

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1984-2001