Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Recommendation: BET THE FARM: How Food Stopped Being Food

     Did you know that there is enough food in the world right now to feed at least 11 billion people, yet 1 billion people of the world's nearly 7 billion regularly go hungry?  17 million American families do not have enough to eat, but the rest of the nation remains unaware.  Actually, as documented in the book, our military and the CIA know all about the power of food and the effects of hunger, both at home and abroad!
     Bet the Farm is an excellent investigation into the complicated territory of food and world hunger. Beginning with a simple question—“Why can’t inexpensive, healthy, and delicious food be available to everyone?”--Frederick Kaufman journeys through the $36 billion per year pizza industry, and then into tomato fields, biotech labs, United Nations conference rooms, and commodities exchanges.  He discovers that while we produce enough food to feed nearly twice the world's population, it's priced too high for the world's poorest 1 billion people. The global food crisis can only be solved, according to Kaufman, if we get the bankers out of the system and begin to regulate the $648 trillion global-derivatives business that has made food into a speculative commodity.  (Yes, that figure is correct!)
    The chapter "Let Them Eat Cash," in which Kaufman exposes the fallacies of the World Food Program to Bill Gates in front of the Rome Hunger Conference in 2008, is alone worth the price of the book.  Food has long been used as a weapon of the powerful; now it's a financial toy as well.
     An excellent review and interview with Kaufman by Harper's can be found here.  I also posted an RT News interview with Kaufman in the preceding post.

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