Tuesday, April 15, 2008

starvation subsidies

Today was a busy day. We tumbled out of bed, ate a noisy breakfast...er, were noisy during breakfast, and got ready speedy quick to head down the street for our coffee tasting event.

What fun! We chatted, no small talk, we ate, we drank coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Everyone was excited about Equal Exchange's program and their amazing coffee, and I think there are going to be some new customers. I wish more people would purchase fairly traded products, because poverty sucks, and those farmers, all farmers for that matter, should be able to make a decent living wage.

I've seen a number of articles recently telling of the riots around the world that are taking place because of the insane increase in the price of food. People in third world nations are unable to feed their families. That's certainly not new, but when food prices skyrocket by 150%, it's tragic news. Most of us here in America can suck it up and deal by cutting extras out of our budget, but there are millions, billions actually, around the world who have no way to keep up.

Within the past few days, the US government has pledged a ton of money (that we presumably do not have) to help feed the world. Other developed nations are doing the same. But what happens when our food supply dwindles as well? Why are farmers being paid to keep perfectly good farmland empty when people are dying of starvation? Certainly those subsidies could be paid to increase agricultural production, to better utilize our resources, to put food in empty stomachs.

How about a little reform in the USDA? How about a little bit of actually caring about people, and a little less about OurRoyalSelves? We can be doing better. But when will that start?

We did a little bit today, getting eight more families to support some hard-working coffee farmers in South America, Africa and South Asia. With enough drops in the bucket, things will change. I hope.

1 comment:

  1. A number of farmers in the US are being paid to keep fields fallow to provide habitat for ducks and pheasants. A number of farmers are starting to think that's for the birds, pun intended, and I expect that quite soon some of those fields will be pressed back into service.


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