THE ARTICLE TO READ is the Five Part LOS ANGELES TIMES piece  by Ken Weiss.
PART I. is at:,0,7213271.htmlstory

PART III.,0,2752228.htmlstory

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^ ANOTHER DIFFRENT ARTICLE BELOW ~^~^~^~^~^

*Recently, the United Nations announced that almost 200 million children are starving. That a child dies of hunger every 5 seconds. That 17,000 babies die daily of hunger. This little guy below is on his way out.

I would eat grasshoppers if there were any.

With six billion of us on earth, one in thirty is hungry. Profiteering in food, land and water are the cause. Global warming, Drought and Skyrocketing food prices have wreaked havoc around the world. Food shortages and starvation have led to riots in Bangladesh and Egypt, political upheaval in Haiti, military intervention in Asia, increased hunger across much of the developing world, and the worst food inflation that the United States has seen in seventeen years. World Bank president Robert Zoellick explained to Bank and IMF officials, "We have to put our money where our mouth is now -- so that we can put food into hungry mouths." America is not immune from the crisis. Food banks, soup kitchens, and food pantries report an estimated 20 percent increase in visitors sincelast year. Over the past twelve months, the United States has seen the number of citizens enrolled in food stamp programs grow by 1.3 million, the highest ever. CNN reports, "At $1.32, the average price of a loaf of bread has increased 32 percent since January 2005. In the last year alone, the average price of carton of eggs has increased almost 50 percent." The federal government is expected to release new data on domestic food prices today, with notable increases expected.

*THE CAUSES: No single factor has caused the dramatic increase in prices. Irregular weather, dietary changes, high energy prices, and alternative fuels have redefined the global market for food. Drought in key grain-producing countries, such as Australia and China, has dramatically decreased global supply. Increased meat consumption in Asia has also boosted the need for grain, as the current supply must now feed livestock along with humans. It takes 8.3 grams of corn feed to produce a 1 gram of beef, or 3.1 grams for pork. High oil prices pushed by global demand, a low dollar, and tight supply have elevated transportation costs, raising the price tag on everything from tractor fuel to fossil fuel based fertilizers, to long-haul trucking and freight expenses. The recent surge in alternative fuel production, aided by new government fuel targets and subsidies in the United States and Europe, has also impacted markets. In addition to generating traditional food and feed, farmers have begun diverting grain and arable land toward first generation biofuels. Despite the contributions of traditional biofuels towards the rise in food prices, biofuels are not wholly responsible for the current volatile situation. With current wheat stockpiles in the United States at 60 year lows, there is no flexibility in today's infrastructure. And in the face of these cascading disturbances, there is little on which to fall back.

THE SOLUTIONS: International action is necessary. The United Nations, in partnership with the World Bank and IMF, has requested an emergency appeal of $500 million from its donor countries. The Bush administration has taken the first step in doing its part, pledging Monday to draw an estimated $200 million from a food reserve known as the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust. But more must be done. The United States must devote more resources to help increase productivity in developing countries, with the goal of reducing these states' dependence on food imports from the developed world. An overview of the import ratio for grains shows this glaring need: Eritrea, 88 percent; Sierra Leone, 85 percent; Niger, 81 percent; Liberia, 75 percent; Botswana, 72 percent; Haiti 67 percent; Bangladesh, 65 percent. America must act with others in the international community to increase output in developing nations so that these states can become self-sufficient. Working hand-in-hand, the western nations must cut subsidies and tariffs so that, once produced, developing countries can sell their goods both domestically and on the international market. International food aid programs must also be reformed so that money is given directly into the hands of growers, producers and local authorities, rather than Western shippers, suppliers, and corporations. Finally, the world must move to the next generation of biofuels on semi-arable land that are not overly dependent on corn and do not compete with food crops.

On  a local level, as half the world's population live in cities, the need for community gardens must be taken seriously.

I am lucky. My mom found bread in a trash dumpster! HEAVEN!

THE ROLE OF CONGRESS: The $286 billion farm bill, which has already been passed by both the House and Senate, once in 2008, again in JUNE 2012, SUPPOSEDLY gives Congress a legislative opportunity to help solve the domestic and international food crisis. Providing more than just a safety net to America's agricultural system, the farm bill grants the critical funding to our nation's poverty, nutrition, land conservation, energy, and international trade programs. However, final compromise on this contentious measure has still not yet been reached. Activists claim 'hidden agendas' in some of its bylaws.. Congress "has produced a bill that makes commendable progress in the areas of conservation, food stamps, nutrition and ag-based renewable energy -- in particular, support for the next generation of sustainably produced biofuels. Nonetheless, a glaring weakness remains in the current legislation," said Jake Caldwell, an agriculture, trade and energy expert at the Center for American Progress. That weakness is commodity subsidies. The current menu of commodity subsidies in the farm bill goes to just five crops and leaves 57 percent of American farmers out in the cold. These subsidies distort markets, impede expansion of social programs, and take funding away from the research and development of new sources of alternative energy. Their reform would mean more money for proposals that progressive members of Congress are so hotly fighting to ensure, which would feed Americans and help alleviate the hunger problem around the world. The farm bill, as it currently stands, represents a missed opportunity to remove oppressive subsidies that could have a dramatic impact on this crisis both at home and abroad.

What can you and I do? Give a few FUNDRAISING Holiday parties, either charge at the gate or have a donation plate and give receipts to AID TO AFRICA or to CARE . Read the "Start Your Own Charity and salary yourself, do import/ export with third world" Archive/  Website.


"When we tolerate what we know to be wrong--when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened -- when we fail to speak up and speak out -- we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice."-- Robert Francis Kennedy

"Let them call me a rebel and I welcome it; I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of demons should I make a whore of my soul". - Thomas Paine

"By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy -- indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction."-- William Osler

It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe you -- try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God's will
yourself!"-- Thomas Merton

A researchin' QUOTE-SCOUTING galpal of mine TELLS ME, re this HUNGRY PLANET file.. "By 2050 the earth's population will increase so much that farmers will need to grow twice as much... check this quote from some FILE she found with no URL/ attribution. "By midcentury, global food production could simply be insufficient. There will be at least 2 billion more mouths to feed, and an expanding middle class will consume more grain-fed beef, pork and other meats. To meet the demand ---" Then it stops.

I finish the sentence in my head, "we will need a tasty, seaweed based, lab-made, soylent green kinda protein drink??"
or "we will to legislate one child per family like chinese and need to abort kids if second pregnancy happens?"
or "we will have to dump all meat-eating pets at the pound" (HORRIFIC for me, the cat lady)
or... "Every family is forced to keep a sow and piglets in garden to provide six sunday dinners a year for a a protein fix...OR some other unimaginable...solution? i.v. AMINOS? All trees in all neighborhoods replaced with nut and avocado trees?