Waste Not: Food Crisis Edition

I actually wrote this back on July 11 this summer. The news is not exactly recent, but I think still relevant.

Apparently the good folks at the G8 summit on the food crisis were treated to an 18 course dinner this week, including milk-fed lamb, sea urchins, caviar and a lot of other foods that you and I could pick up at McDonald’s if we really wanted. Something Jesus said about the “least of these” makes me think he would skip the 18 course meal in solidarity with the good people of Haiti who have been reduced to eating mud pies with a dash of salt.

In addition to the Power’s shenanigans in Japan we’ve been hearing a lot about our personal waste being the cause (and/or solution) of the food crisis. Gordon Brown recently urged Britains to curb their food waste in an effort to alleviate suffering around the world. So, we’re back to the clean your plate because kids in Africa are starving debate.

I am all for reducing our waste. Every little bit helps and I would never want to discourage individuals from taking those steps to make a difference. However, it is disingenuous for the world’s leaders to lay the blame at the door of consumers. The truth is that the individual food waste of consumers is miniscule compared to the waste of corporations and other institutions.

Let’s not forget either that there is no food shortage involved in this food crisis. The world continues to produce more than enough food to feed everyone.

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