41 million people in the United States alone do not have enough food to eat. That’s more than 12% of the population in a nation that sells itself as a “great” country, and where some people have billions of dollars sitting in offshore accounts and investment portfolios that are doing nothing for anyone. Worldwide, although enough food is produced to feed the world’s population, some 820 million people go hungry each day. That’s 1 in 9, or approximately 11% of the people in the world.
Think about those numbers for just a minute … and now consider this from an article in the New York Times …
In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern half of the United States with produce, tractors are crisscrossing bean and cabbage fields, plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the soil.
After weeks of concern about shortages in grocery stores and mad scrambles to find the last box of pasta or toilet paper roll, many of the nation’s largest farms are struggling with another ghastly effect of the pandemic. They are being forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell.
The closing of restaurants, hotels and schools has left some farmers with no buyers for more than half their crops. And even as retailers see spikes in food sales to Americans who are now eating nearly every meal at home, the increases are not enough to absorb all of the perishable food that was planted weeks ago and intended for schools and businesses.
The amount of waste is staggering. The nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, estimates that farmers are dumping as many as 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. A single chicken processor is smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week.
WTF??? I urge you to go read the rest of the New York Times article for yourself.
Mothers cannot get enough milk to feed their children … while farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of the life-sustaining stuff every day??? And the United States bills itself as the ‘richest nation on earth’? I think not … perhaps the greediest, likely the stupidest, but obviously whatever wealth is in this country is not available to keep people from starving.
To be fair, some farmers have been donating some of their surplus to food banks and Meals on Wheels programs, which have been overwhelmed with demand. But there is only so much perishable food that charities with limited numbers of refrigerators and volunteers can absorb. So … why isn’t the federal government helping to coordinate the efforts to move the food to where it is needed? Why can’t they do something decent just for a change? Why, for that matter, aren’t trucking companies volunteering their labour and resources to help move that food to the people who are starving???
And where are those damned evangelical churches who rake in millions of dollars … what are they doing? Not a damn thing … Joel Osteen (net worth $60 million), Franklin Graham (net worth $12 million), Robert Jeffress (net worth $18 million) and Rick Warren (net worth $28 million) could make a huge difference if they coughed up some of their ill-gotten gains to help move the food.
This, to me, is the single most unconscionable abomination of recent times! And those wealthy philanthropists like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates … yes, I know they have contributed to other causes in this, the era of the pandemic, but why the hell can’t they dig a little deeper into those pockets, rent some trucks, find ways to transport the produce and dairy products from the farms to the cities where people are literally starving to death? Why is it that the only people who seem to care about this are those of us without the resources to do more than make small donations or volunteer a few hours of time, while those with the resources either don’t know or don’t care?
This global pandemic has already taken nearly a quarter-million lives worldwide, more than 54,000 in the U.S. alone. But you know what, folks? At the end of the day, we’re going to find that number is actually higher because of people around the globe who couldn’t get much-needed food, while farmers were plowing it back into the ground, planting new crops in hopes they will be able to supply … not people who need it … but hotels and restaurants and the people who can afford to patronize them. I am very nearly at the point of declaring that I will never again eat in any restaurant, but unless I can get a substantial number of people to join me in that protest, it would be meaningless.
There is plenty of blame to go around, and some of it is ours. Turns out that on average, Americans eat more veggies when meals are prepared for them in restaurants than when they cook at home. I am the opposite, for I cook fresh veggies every night, but … what a lazy society we have become! And now, the price is being paid by those who can’t even afford a gallon of milk, let alone a restaurant meal. Tonight in what is touted as one of the richest countries on earth, some children will go to bed hungry and not wake up tomorrow, while farmers will wake to destroy more food, and the wealthy will wake to Eggs Benedict and steak. Think about that one.