Food fear lobby and World Food Day

Rethinking Food Day Priorities
By Ken
Corn Commentary
National Corn Growers Association

On Oct. 16, the U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization did what it always does on its birthday, celebrate World Food Day by calling attention to the problem of world hunger. This year, it was marked in 150 countries with programs large and small.

Unfortunately, the food fear lobby here in the United States found they’d rather have their own party, with a different focus. The fact that it falls so close to the FAO’s World Food Day can lead the conspiracy theorists to wondering whether it really is an attempt to muddy the waters or take advantage of the marketing success of the earlier day. And so, the usual gang of suspects has designated Oct. 24 as “Food Day.” Apparently, people starving to death in a far-flung Third World country is not as important as making sure food snobs have better access to grass-fed steaks or getting rid of the toys in the McDonald Happy Meals.

And yet, oddly, this group of people involved can’t even agree on the real threat. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the fear lobbyists leading the charge, published a list of the “Terrific Ten” and “Terrible Ten” aspects of America’s food scene. Interestingly, the list includes an important disclaimer: these lists “do not necessarily reflect the views of Food Day Advisors and local Food Day coordinators and participants.” Apparently, there’s a holdout somewhere in Food Day HQ who likes his Froot Loops.

It’s time for a little perspective. At a time when speculators are “wagering on food prices,” it’s time to put more focus on the fact that a billion people live in chronic hunger. If everyone spent more time working on increasing yields and maximizing arable land worldwide, rather than mandating food labels that read like War and Peace, more kids would be able to sleep on a full stomach.

Do you really want to put science to work in the public interest? Find better ways to feed the hungry, something farmers and the companies that provide them their tools are hard at work doing every day.

Let’s make Food Day a day on which, at some point in the near future, we can celebrate victory.

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