World hunger is the result of greed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am


An article I read recently noted that many people are suffering from chronic hunger around the world. Global food prices are at their highest since the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation started monitoring them in 1990.

Basic food items such as cooking oils, rice and corn cost more than they did before. This has seriously affected poor households. In addition, many developing countries have stopped subsidising farmers or being involved in food marketing, storage, transportation or credit provision. As a result, more and more poor farmers are finding it difficult to provide sufficient food for their families. Meanwhile, rich countries continue to subsidise and protect local farmers, undermining food production in developing countries.

The world is unfair. Yet food, a basic necessity for life, should not be the plaything of unjust market forces. Well-to-do people today have more food than ever before, yet the poor often go hungry.

Yuki Yek Nim-ching, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Yuki. Hunger has always been a global problem and it is one that many people are working to solve. Many of the issues surrounding world hunger are out of our realm. We can't do anything about wild weather or crazy government laws or rich people gambling with food prices. All we can do is not be part of the problem.

The wastage of food in developed countries is truly frightening. For example, a goat that is slaughtered by a poor family in Africa will be completely eaten from snout to tail, as the saying goes.

Yet, in the West, people just want to eat choice steaks. By doing so, they create a demand for high-end steaks. That means the rest of the animal is often wasted, even though it could feed whole families.

Thankfully in Hong Kong, people still eat tripe, tendons, brains and lungs. But it won't be too long before that changes. We need to make a conscious effort not to waste food.

Susan, Editor