Monday, November 16, 2009

Food Blogging

According to the Washington Post, the number of people in America who are undernourished has risen sharply. Not terribly surprising, given the way the economy has gone, and unemployment with it. Still--it's kind of jarring to think that in this country
nearly 17 million children -- more than one in five across the United States -- were living in households in which food at times ran short, up from slightly more than 12 million youngsters the year before. And the number of children who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.
I hate that they always focus on children for these things (the children! the children!) but this problem has a direct impact on how children develop and how healthy they can be as adults, so it's not purely pathos.

As Thanksgiving approaches we can expect to see any number of appeals for people to stop eating meat, and most of those appeals will be in the interests of the animals killed for food. James E. McWilliams has an op-ed piece at the WaPo that discusses the inherent political nature of our food choices, and rather than focusing on the treatment of the animals, he points out the number of ways in which factory farming is destroying the planet. That's where the discussion usually ends because of the tendency of people to answer with, "Yeah, but I like eating meat," and leaving the issue unexamined beyond that.

In a related point, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations claims that by the year 2050 there will be more than nine billion people on the planet, necessitating a food production increase of seventy percent. One way to increase food production? Stop feeding crops to animals and start feeding them to people.

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