The Fallacy of Feeding the World

Jim GoodmanBlog

Yesterday I heard someone talking about our (the USA’s) duty to “feed the world”. I have a real problem with this, who gave us this mandate?

I really find this “feed the world” thing to be ridiculous as well as very condescending to the rest of the world. Who made us keepers of the world? Who decided we knew how to feed them and who decided the people of world were incapable of feeding themselves?

In the first place they may not want to eat what we want to feed them, which would be mostly GM corn, soy and fat beef with hormone residues. Sorry, I don’t want to eat that either. Who gave US agribusiness the right to assume that was what the world should eat?

And, by feeding the world, will we be giving them all they food they need? Only, if they have money.

They are not hungry because they are stupid, or because they don’t know what to eat, or how to grow crops adapted to their climate. We in the US have not had much experience dealing with civil wars, or dictators or foreign governments and corporations controlling our lives. In the midst of genocide, food is not the priority.

Nation-wide droughts and lack of infrastructure that causes the loss of much of the agricultural production, loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that take a good share of the rest for loan repayments all take their toll and leave little to put on one’s plate.

The poor of the world need a fair shake. Poor wages, trade policies that dump foreign agricultural products into the market undercutting farm prices, and government policy that pushes small farmers off their land—- this creates hunger, not a lack of corporately owned technology.

So, let’s get this straight, we don’t need to feed the world. They have been around longer than the US has, they taught us how to feed ourselves. They do not want to eat what corporate agribusiness wants to feed us, they want culturally appropriate diets and that is clearly more important than corporate profit.

The US uses “feeding the world” as a reason to control the world— so the world, especially the poor, fit neatly into the equation for ever-growing corporate profit.