Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

20 posts from March 2010

Hunger Justice Leaders Impact Communities

HJL photo 2 At first glance, you might not think Erin Rath and Chris Ko have a lot in common. Rath is a longtime South Dakota resident who is completing her training as a sign-language interpreter, while Ko lives in Los Angeles and works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations.

But Rath and Ko are members of Bread for the World’s first class of Hunger Justice Leaders (HJL) -- a group of activists in their 20s and early 30s who are committed to making a long-term difference for hungry and poor people.

The two were active on hunger issues before receiving HJL training in 2008. Rath served as the coordinator of her local Bread group in Sioux Falls, SD, and Ko worked for the Los Angeles mayor’s office on asset-building programs for low-income families. They credit HJL training with building their skills and revitalizing their advocacy.

Rath sees her work on hunger as a religious and spiritual obligation. She says that HJL training gave her strategies for building connections with a wide range of people. “If they don’t agree with Bread’s position or they’re not well-informed about the issues,” she says, “I can listen carefully and engage them in conversation and offer my opinion in a non-threatening way.” 

In addition to her work on Bread’s national and international hunger issues, Rath also puts her energy into state issues, such as the repeal of South Dakota’s food tax, which disproportionately affects people struggling to put food on the table. South Dakotans have been working to eliminate the tax for several years.

“This year, for the first time, the bill made it out of committee. It hasn’t passed yet, but just clearing the committee is a very important step,” she says. “From a religious perspective, I know that I have to do my part, and then God is ultimately in control.”

Ko says that he came to the HJL training in search of spiritual revitalization. “I got that, and I also had a great time. I think I’d been getting a bit cynical, and I was pleasantly surprised by how receptive members of Congress were,” he adds.

Since he became a Hunger Justice Leader, Ko has written his first op-eds on hunger and submitted them to newspapers. He is also starting an international community development project to connect Los Angeles with cities in developing countries.

“Our city is really a collection of dozens of neighborhoods, and a lot of them have deep poverty and many of the other problems of cities in developing countries, like lack of transportation,” he says. “So if we can do community development and get it right in L.A., ultimately maybe we can help other cities -- Mumbai, Rio -- address some of these problems.”

Many immigrants who live in L.A. travel back and forth every summer; Ko envisions working with them to help transfer ideas and resources from L.A. to their home communities and vice versa. “I know that when I studied in Ghana, I was struck by how far a dollar will go in some communities. The $20 a month I contribute as an individual is actually helping people,” he says.

Ko and Rath reflect the energy and thoughtfulness of many of Bread’s younger activists. Rath says she is motivated by hearing the stories of experienced advocates. “A lot of them have been active for many years, and they still have compassion and dedication,” she says. She also hopes that her class of Hunger Justice Leaders can collaborate with the 2010 class, which meets for training in Washington, DC, this summer. “We can connect on Facebook and help each other be more effective.”

Ko notes that he visited the Robert Kennedy Memorial while in Washington for HJL training. “I realized that we live in a country that actually builds memorials to our values of justice and compassion. So when I went home, I tried to figure out how to apply this to my life.”

You can learn more about the HJL program from Vanessa Martinez, a Hunger Justice Leader from Santa Ana, CA, on this short video, or apply directly to the program. And if you know someone who would be a perfect Hunger Justice Leader, send them to www.bread.org/bealeader. The deadline is March 12.

Michele Lerner is a writer for Bread for the World.

Glenn Beck Needs a Copy of the Poverty and Justice Bible

If you're reading this blog, you probably know that there are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible that address God's call to stand against poverty and oppression. There's even a new Poverty and Justice Bible that highlights all of the verses. I guess Glenn Beck didn't get the memo. 

Last week, Beck said this:
I beg you, look for the words "social justice" or "economic justice" on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! 
Beck goes on to say that social and economic justice are code words for Nazism and communism.  


If "social and economic justice" are code for anything in the Christian tradition, it's to take seriously Christ's call to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, and welcome the neighbor. Bread for the World has been proudly standing up for social and economic justice for more than 35 years. We do so because God calls us to do so. And yes, many times injustices are the result of oppressive policies. God called Moses to tell Pharaoh to "let my people go." Just imagine this conversation... 
God: Hey there, Moses. Got a favor to ask. You need to go to your king and ask him to let your people go. I'm not a big fan of slavery. Sound good? 
Moses: Nah, that sounds a little social justicey to me. 
Just imagine if Christians and other people of faith and conscience had ignored the call to work for social justice. Martin Luther King Jr. might not have led the civil rights movement. William Wilberforce might not have led the call to end the British slave trade. Desmond Tutu might not have worked to end Apartheid. 

A great response from our friend, Rev. Chuck Currie, here

By the way, since Beck says you should run from churches that espouse social justice, we have a humble counter-plea. If your church isn't engaged in social justice work, run! Here are a few churches you can consider running to

UPDATE: Bread is sponsoring a petition to Glenn Beck to tell him that economic justice is central to the gospel. If we get 35,000 people to sign, we'll deliver the petitions and a copy of the Poverty and Justice Bible. Will you add your name?
Matt Newell-Ching is Western Regional Organizer for Bread for the World.

Hunger in the News

A look at today's top headlines:

The World's Best Countries for Women. International Women's Day seems like an appropriate occasion to ask which countries do best by women -- and why. [The New York Times]

China Villagers Moved to Quench the Urban Thirst. It's the biggest mass migration in China since the Three Gorges Dam project, under which some 1.5 million people have been relocated. [BBC]

Visualizing the Internet. An interactive map tracks Internet users around the world. [BBC]

Ag Committee Votes for No Budget Cuts. The House Agriculture Committee voted unanimously March 3 to tell the House Budget Committee not to cut any agriculture programs in the fiscal year 2011 budget … [Ag Week]

USDA Criticizing Food Stamp Application Methods. Farmers, supermarkets and truckers across the country are losing billions of dollars in business because California, Texas, Arizona and New York City are using procedures that discourage people eligible for food stamps from applying for them… [Ag Week]

Poverty is Hitting the Suburbs with More Sting. Bastions of the middle class, Twin Cities suburbs are seeing financial pain spreading quietly among their residents. They now have more poor people than the core cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Can't Get a Job after Law School? Try the Census Bureau. Last census the government shelled out $9.5 million in marketing costs to try to recruit employees. This time around, there is competition to join the ranks. [Business Insider]

Climate Change/Environment
IMF Floats Climate Change Fund Idea. [T]he International Monetary Fund has switched its attention to the environment with a plan for the world's governments to pool together to raise money needed to adapt to climate change. [The Press Association]

A Climate-Change Chameleon. It's hard to tell whether New Delhi really understands the economic cost of fighting "global warming." [The Wall Street Journal]

Germany's Merkel: There May Not Be a Climate Deal. Merkel said binding targets are opposed by China and India, which she called a "structural problem" for a new climate treaty. [CanadianBusiness.com]

Women are Key to Ending Hunger

The contributions women make to agriculture and development are significant, though they often go unnoticed. Today, International Women's Day, is a chance to acknowledge the pivotal role of women as mothers, caregivers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. In collaboration with The Hunger Project, we've put together a fact sheet that details the critical ways women improve livelihoods, food security, and the nutrition of their families.

International Women's Day also provides an opportunity to highlight the barriers and discrimination women still face around the world. Many of the most pressing development challenges -- from improving health and nutrition to spurring economic growth and reducing conflict and violence -- can’t be solved without empowering women. Yet, too few resources and too little attention are paid to women’s needs and to the role they play in addressing these challenges.

For example, women are responsible for between 60 and 80 percent of staple grain production around the world, yet they receive only a tiny portion of development assistance designed to improve agricultural productivity. And though women are often responsible for keeping family members, including young children, well-nourished, the lack of resources and education for women means far too many children go hungry, as our interactive map shows. Solving the problem of persistent food insecurity and undernutrition in many countries is not possible without sustained attention to the needs of women.

As the world struggles to address the surge in rising hunger that occurred in 2008 and the looming development challenges presented by the global economic downturn, we should all remember the critical role women play in economic and human development -- and the unique challenges they face. Today’s recognition of International Women’s Day should be the start of lasting empowerment of women.

Hunger in the News

Today's top headlines:

Biofuels Creating Food Crisis, Group Says. The use of biofuels caused a 30 percent increase in the price of food in 2008, an advocacy group said… [UPI]

India Launches New Drive Against Pregnancy Deaths. An Indian woman dies every seven minutes during pregnancy or childbirth. [BBC]

China 'Must Reverse Rich-Poor Gap'. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said China must reverse its widening income gap between rich and poor. [BBC]

Food Agency Gearing Up for Spring Planting in Haiti. In Haiti, with two weeks to go before the spring planting season begins, the U.N. and its partners are rushing to provide tools and seeds to farmers to help avert a national food crisis. [Relief Web]

36K Jobs Lost, 9.7% Unemployment Rate. Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 36,000 in February. The economy has lost almost 3.3 million jobs over the last year, and 8.43 million jobs since the beginning of the current employment recession. [Calculated Risk]

Snow Didn't Skew the Unemployment Rate. But the Census Will. [T]he hiring of more than 500,000 census workers this spring will trim the unemployment rate and boost spending temporarily. [The Christian Science Monitor]

America, the Service Industry? America isn't a country that can survive by offering services. It needs to make – and sell – things. [The Christian Science Monitor]

Off the Job. My first bout of unemployment began in October 2008, about a month after the Lehman Brothers collapse. [The New York Times]

Climate Change/Environment

'Case Stronger' on Climate Change. A review from the U.K. Met Office says it is becoming clearer that human activities are causing climate change. [BBC]

Lawmakers Move to Restrain EPA on Climate Change. On Thursday, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill that would put a two-year freeze on the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants. [The Washington Post]

CEOs Seek Firm Signal on U.S. Climate Change Policy. Global leaders in the energy business say they want some certainty in U.S. climate policy to encourage development of new technologies and other investment, but they do not expect federal legislation to pass this year. [Reuters]

March Forth

They are marching again in Alabama with no less passion than the civil rights campaigners of the 1960s.

“Our time is now!” say the students of Auburn University, who are plotting a 60-mile march from their campus to Montgomery later this month. They will rally on the capitol steps and then spend a day lobbying the state’s lawmakers.

“We’ll let them know what we think,” says Emma Jane Keller, 22.

What they think is this: 1 billion hungry people in the world is a disgrace, a shameful injustice in the 21st century when more food is being produced than ever before. Their message to the politicians in Montgomery and beyond: End hunger now.

“All great changes in society have started with college students,” Emma says. “We’re not jaded by the world. You believe you can change the world.”

Emma is the president of Auburn’s Committee of 19, a student group that directs the campus War on Hunger program and that has the subversive ring of an underground group of revolutionaries in Cold War Eastern Europe. The aura fits the mission, for ending hunger will require a toppling of entrenched policies and philosophies that have punished the small farmers of the developing world, particularly in Africa, and tolerated a billion hungry people.

As Irish rock star Bono says in our book Enough: “How, in a world of plenty, can people be left to starve? We think, ‘It’s just the way of the world.’ But if it is the way of the world, we must overthrow the way of the world.”

A revolution, that’s what we’re talking about here. A grassroots revolution that will overturn the neglect of agriculture development and spark a new Green Revolution specifically tailored to the farming and nutritional needs of Africa and the environmental conditions of today.

The we-can-do-anything ambition of Auburn’s hunger fighters resulted in 60 students setting out on a first march last fall. “It was kind of a crazy idea; people said it wouldn’t happen,” Emma remembers.

But march they did. A couple of hours into the first day, the students were hit with a drenching rain. Shoes grew tighter, blisters burst, backpacks became heavier. A core group of students persisted, walking 25 miles the first day, 25 miles the second, and then a final 10 miles into Montgomery.

“Some women in Africa walk 20 miles a day just to get water. Every day,” says Lauren Wissert, 21, the vice president of the Committee of 19. Just by walking, Lauren notes, the Auburn students “raised awareness of what life is like for these women.”

This year, the Committee is hoping to lead a 150-strong march. (And what better day to write about the possibilities than today, the only declarative sentence on our calendar: March Fourth!)

“It’s an election year,” notes Clark Solomon, the Committee’s incoming president. “We’ll call [the legislators] out on the hunger issues. Completely nonpartisan.”

The marchers also raise money from pledges; it will mainly benefit the World Food Program.

The Committee of 19 was so named because, at its founding in 2004, 19 cents was the WFP’s daily cost of feeding a hungry school child in the developing world. Now, with higher food prices, that cost is up to about 25 cents, but the Committee won’t change its name.

“It gives us a great story to tell,” Emma says. “And it shows the changing (worsening) situation of hunger.”

The Committee of 19 links all the schools and colleges on campus with representatives from each academic discipline. (The university even offers a hunger minor.) The idea is to foster a myriad of ideas to attack hunger.

“I’m human sciences,” says Emma, “and the way I think about hunger is completely different from the way an engineering student thinks."

Engineering student Lori Beth Dutcher, a Committee member, says: “We think a lot about the root causes of hunger and solutions. Irrigation. Bridges and roads and better ways of getting food to people. Appropriate technology. We’re barely scratching the surface.”

Courtni Ward, the Committee’s incoming vice president studying international business, has her fellow students thinking of micro-finance and corporate social responsibility programs. They have created posters to help with enlistment. “Make Hunger Your Business,” says one. Proclaims another: “Kick Hunger in the … (picture of a donkey).”

Auburn, a land-grant university on the plains of east Alabama, is at the center of a rising “end hunger” clamor coming from universities. Auburn developed a relationship with the United Nations in 1994 when the College of Human Sciences launched the International Quality of Life Awards in conjunction with the U.N.’s International Year of the Family. June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences, then led Auburn into a partnership with the U.N.’s World Food Program. Together they launched a War on Hunger campaign, which has now expanded into an alliance of more than 130 universities around the globe known as Universities Fighting World Hunger.

Last weekend, about 200 students from some two dozen of those schools gathered at Auburn for the annual summit.

“It’s our passion at Auburn to see that we get universities organized, that we have a collective voice,” said Harriet Giles, director of external relations for the College of Human Sciences and an advisor to the Committee of 19. “We need a voice and we need to be heard.”

The summit voices were loud and clear and urgent. “Engage and empower students … now!” proclaimed a presentation from representatives of the University of Guelph in Canada. “Universities must engage … now!”

“If we work together, we can change things,” said Mike Giancola, the director of the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service at North Carolina State University. “There’s no copyright on hunger. We’ll steal some ideas from here and take back to our school. And we hope you’ll steal from us.”

One awareness-raising idea he proposed: a 40-hour fast at universities across the United States and Canada.

Sarah Nam, who leads the Harvard College Global Hunger Initiative – students from various studies ranging from math and investment banking to environmental science and nutrition work on innovative solutions, such as a health training program targeting malnutrition in Uganda and a text messaging service to provide crop prices to farmers in Kenya -- says she was “particularly inspired by Auburn’s hunger walk. It’s such a commitment of time and energy, I don’t know if we could have done it (at Harvard.)”

But the Committee of 19 would like Harvard and all the other universities to try.

“Our goal,” says Emma Keller, “is to get all universities involved, to walk to the capital cities and have rallies, all on the same day.”

March forth with a clarion call to action. That will amplify the clamor.

“Nobody is pro-hunger,” Emma says. “It’s just a matter of bringing it to the top of their agendas.”

Roger Thurow’s blog post appears courtesy of the Global Food for Thought blog. Thurow, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, is a senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Hunger in the News

Today's top headlines:

Ethiopia Aid 'Spent on Weapons'. Millions of dollars in Western aid for victims of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 was siphoned off by rebels to buy weapons... [BBC]

WFP Increases Focus on Children Under 2. Preventing lifelong damage from malnutrition hinges on boosting efforts to tackle the problem in children under two… [AlterNet]

Are We Heading for Another Food Crisis? Long dry spells in parts of Africa and erratic rainfall in Asia have cast uncertain clouds over crop yields for 2010 in the world's poorest countries. [IRIN -- the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs news service]

Free Care for Expectant Mothers -- is it Enough? Sierra Leone has the world’s highest maternal mortality rate -- 1,800 women die per 100,000 live births… [IRIN]

New Formula to Give Fresh Look at Poverty
. The Obama administration Tuesday embraced an alternative way of defining what it means to be poor… [The Washington Post]

Profiting from Recession, Payday Lenders Spend Big to Fight Regulation. The influential $42 billion-a-year payday lending industry ... is pouring record sums into lobbying… [Huffington Post]

Senate Passes Funding for Jobless Benefits after Republican Relents. [T]he Senate is back to work on a $100 billion-plus bill reviving popular tax breaks and extending longer and more generous jobless benefits through the end of the year... [Huffington Post]

Some Companies Drop Health Insurance, Don't Tell Employees. [N]ow workers have another worry: companies that drop their health insurance coverage and don't bother to tell employees. [McClatchy]

Spider-Man Fired: Peter Parker Heads to Unemployment Line. Wednesday … is the day Peter Parker, Spider-Man's nice guy alter-ego, hears the words, ''You're fired.'' [Huffington Post]

Climate Change/Environment
Independent Board to Review Work of Top Climate Panel. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been under fire since it was pointed out that the 2007 report included a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, although there is no scientific consensus to that effect. [The New York Times]

How Do You Convince People of Global Warming in a Snowstorm? The dead of winter ... is not the easiest time to make the case for global warming. [The Christian Science Monitor]

Hunger in the News

Today's top headlines:

Big Rise in Afghan Child Migrants. United Nations aid agencies are increasingly concerned about the number of children from Afghanistan migrating across Europe alone. [BBC]

Indian Budget Sets Out 'Prudent Vision.' India's finance minister is seeking to please the middle classes with his latest budget. But his proposals may not address the needs of the underprivileged… [BBC]

Net Puts Kenya at Centre of Chile Rescue Efforts.[O]n Saturday, within an hour of the massive quake, volunteers at a crisis group called Ushahidi sprang into action. [BBC]

Blame Yesterday's Reforms for Today's Gridlocked Congress. Congress just got a lot more done in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s than in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Why? [CNN]

Food Sellers Signal Weak Recovery. The weak recovery rippled through the food chain Thursday… [The Wall Street Journal]

More People Apply for Energy Assistance to Help with Heating. A record number of U.S. households are applying for help to pay home heating bills… [USA Today]

Climate Change/Environment
Carmakers' Next Crutch: Green Subsidies. At this year's motor show there will hardly be a single exhibit that does not display petrol-electric hybrids or all-electric cars. [BBC]

The Green Jobs Myth. [H]ow valid is the assumption that a "clean-energy" economy will generate enough jobs to mitigate today's high level of unemployment… [The Washington Post]

A Clean Energy Triple Play. We are building the new Michigan economy, piece by piece, town by town, in communities across the state. [Huffington Post]

Poverty is Like Swiss Cheese

If tax policy makes your eyes glaze over, help has arrived. In this month’s Breadcast, Bread policy analyst Rachel Black demystifies the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) -- it’s the largest anti-poverty program in the country, and it just happens to be administered through the tax code.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit that gives working families resources they can use to meet whatever need they’re facing, whether it’s a car repair, medical bills, or childcare costs. The average EITC benefit a working family receives is $2,500 a year, which may not sound like a lot, but it makes a big impact.

“I’ve heard it said that poverty is like walking over a slice of Swiss cheese,” Black says. “Unexpected expenses come up, and you can fall through one of those holes.”

Bread’s current Offering of Letters campaign urges Congress to protect and strengthen the EITC and the Child Tax Credit.

“To address hunger in the long term, we have to address the poverty that causes hunger,” Black says. “Tax policies that support families who work are an important way of doing this.”

The Breadcast also contains music from Tiffany Thompson, and a legislative update from Monica Mills, Bread’s director of government relations, about the issues Congress will face this month.

Going Together

Woman and child WASHINGTON, DC – In the new initiative to end hunger through agriculture development, an old African proverb is lighting the way: If you want to go fast, go it alone. If you want to go far, go together.

For the Obama administration, which is leading the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, this means taking a “whole of government” approach, bringing the focus and resources of many agencies to the same task. For Africa, it means looking beyond national borders and thinking regionally.

This introduces a new set of challenges to an already daunting task: boosting food production on a continent that has entered the 21st century hungrier and more malnourished than ever before. For the Obama administration, the “whole of government” effort will require avoiding the turf wars and budget jealousies legendary in this town. For Africa, where getting an individual country to work through development priorities is difficult enough, it will require working together with several countries to develop regional strategies. For donors, it will require new ways of dispensing aid, from bilaterally to regionally. And a new way of thinking: subsuming your own self-interests to work across agencies and across borders.

But to go far in ending hunger through agriculture development, it will be necessary to go together.

This is one of the realities being confronted at a conference summoned by the Partnership to Cut Poverty and Hunger in Africa. It is called “Putting Principles into Action,” an effort to keep the wheels turning on the Obama initiative. There are funding commitments to be kept ($22 billion pledged by the G-8 countries last summer), lofty rhetoric to be implemented on the ground (“We will make your farms flourish,” President Obama said in his inaugural address), and new ideas to be tested.

Among the Africans, there is a growing recognition that for any individual country to succeed agriculturally, it will need to cooperate with its neighbors.

“Unless you are willing to harmonize with your neighbors, can you achieve your national priorities?” asks Boaz Blackie Keizire, an official in the African Union Commission who is working to implement the continent’s agriculture priorities.

They are keenly aware of this in Rwanda, where the Global Food Security Initiative has first landed on the ground. The Rwandan government convened a meeting of Western governments and aid donors in December to outline its goals, strategy, and plan of action for achieving measurable progress on agriculture development and poverty reduction. Its plan was hailed as the first project-ready country investment plan to capitalize on the U.S. initiative. Since then, some two dozen other countries have come forward to advance plans of their own.

That is the first step, to come forth individually. The next step is to march forward together.

Rwanda, for instance, is landlocked, and depends on its neighboring countries for ports and transport to the sea to market any surplus agriculture production. And it is a small country, unable to deploy economies of scale in purchasing supplies such as fertilizer and seed. President Kagame and Agriculture Minister Agnes Kalibata have stressed that Rwanda’s success in improving agriculture production will be limited with regional success.

Rwanda agriculture will only flourish if regional markets flourish, and regional transportation, regional communication, regional infrastructure.

The goal of the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, also called Feeding the Future, is to create the conditions for Africa’s farmers to grow enough food to feed their families and also have surpluses to sell on the markets. If there aren’t sufficient markets to absorb the surpluses, prices of the commodities fall and farmers lose incentive to grow as much as they can. It has happened over and over again in Africa and has kept African agriculture from advancing.

Thus, Boaz notes, “surplus production is a regional aspect. You produce a surplus in your country, you need a region to sell it in.”

“I’m from Uganda,” he continues. “Uganda often has big surpluses. In the immediate vicinity, Ethiopia and Kenya have regular food shortages. This speaks to clear regional cooperation.”

Or, he says, consider this: “In Kenya or Uganda, you find a huge market for staples in southern Sudan. So you build a nice big road to southern Sudan. But who cares for that road, so that it doesn’t end with your country’s border?”

These questions have long bedeviled Africa. Despite centuries of ethnic divisions, competing colonial legacies, and post-colonial conflicts, three regional economic trading blocs have emerged in Africa in recent years, groupings of nations in the East, West and Southern parts of the continent. They now need to be deployed in the fight against hunger.

Export, tariff, and subsidy policies beg to be coordinated regionally to foster trade. Regional standards and certifications will help advance seed research and distribution. Larger markets will create more efficient supply chains for agriculture inputs, like fertilizer, and be more attractive to investors. Transportation and irrigation policies cross borders along with the roads and the rivers. As do diseases afflicting plants, animals, and humans.

Success crosses borders, and failure does too.

In the fight against hunger through agriculture development, African countries need to go together, or they won’t go very far at all.

Roger Thurow’s blog post appears courtesy of the Global Food for Thought blog. Thurow, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, is a senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

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