WHY???

hungry41 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.

55 thoughts on “WHY???

  1. Back in January, Jill, China organized trucks to deliver truckloads of food where it was needed, via their military. They had planned for it. It would take tons of food with people under quarantine.
    In the US, we are lucky we have what we have. (Little to nothing.)
    I so appreciate your rant. I’m ranting with you.

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  2. Why the surprise people. You have bloated, selfish jerk in the Whitehouse and 50,000,000 folk willing to say it’s the fault of the 40,000,000.
    Of course they are going to go hungry.
    It’s not like you have a person worthy to occupy the Whitehouse and might possibly do something about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. timely comments all around, it’s criminal to waste food when ppl are starving. this is where capitalism falls short, socialist system would simply redistribute goods and services where needed, ppl won’t have a million choices of branding but they’ll get fed!

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  4. I’ve often wondered the same thing, why can’t we match the global output of food with the global demand for food. and while some people could do more, I’m not sure I would call Bill Gates who has already done great things for many causes, and he may be doing things with respect to world hunger that we are not aware of. I think there are only so many causes a person or foundation can focus on in order to have maximum effect.

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    • With all the technology we have today, you’d think we could do a better job of it. You’re right about Bill Gates … I only mentioned him, I guess, because he is one who seems to care about humanity, but as you say, there are only so many causes one can be managing at a time. So, what about these other rich dudes whose money is sitting around collecting dust (and interest, though not so much right now)? A coalition of them could work wonders and come out being heroes, but nope, can’t let loose of a few dollars to save lives. Bah humbug.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know what you mean … I often have to click “like” on something that enrages me … I always think of it as letting the author know that he/she did a good job. This is appalling, and I don’t understand … I simply cannot understand why some of those rich folk with their money just sitting around collecting dust (and interest, of course) cannot step up to the plate and find innovative ways to match supply to demand. Sigh.

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    • That is so true … I’m thinking probably more than we even know. I’d like to think that we may take some lessons from this, make improvements … but alas, knowing human nature, I’m not holding my breath.

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  5. Reblogged this on Frank Parker's author site and commented:
    The BBC’s Country File last night contained a segment on the very same subject as it impacts UK agriculture. The basic problem seems to be that the production and distribution of food is skewed to satisfy our addiction to eating and drinking outside of the home. It illustrates how the lifestyles adopted in recent times by people of all but the poorest classes in Western democracies is damaging not just to the environment but to the poor and hungry – even those within the same nations.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Many thanks for the re-blog, Frank! People may find that their lifestyles will not return to what they were before this pandemic, that some things will be changed forever, and hopefully for the better.

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  6. Much the same is happening in the UK, Jill. I find it hard to understand, not just for the forgotten hungry folks you’ve highlighted, but for the waste that must have been inherent in the so called “hospitality industry”. It cannot be the case that people cooking their own food and eating at home are eating that much less than they did when they ate in resraurants or fast food outlets. The only conclusion I can come to is that a high proportion of the food purchased by hotels, restauarants and fast food purveyors is wasted in the ‘normal’ course of events.
    Starbucks is not buying milk. Are Starbucks customers not drinking the same amount of coffee at home? And, if not, why did they drink so much more on their daily visits to the coffee shop? Were they buying ‘large’ lattes and only drinking half, throwing the remainder away?
    If restaurants serve only the best cuts of meat, what happens to the rest of the animal? Pet food is the obvious answer. So are we in a situation where the prime cuts are thrown away in order to sustain a pet food industry? There are so many ways in which this crisis is showing us how complacent and wasteful we had become.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Frank, and I hadn’t thought about some of what you say. For example … yes, I would think people are eating just as much … likely more, for when people are bored, they eat. And yet, the farmers cannot sell their crops. Cannot? Is it a lack of demand, or a logistical problem? And meanwhile, grocery stores are sneakily raising their prices on many things, including fresh produce. Why? My guess is simply because they can. We are, as I’ve long known, a wasteful society. I wonder, though … what happens when those restaurants open back up and the farmers have plowed under their crops? May be that the restaurants won’t be opening as quickly as the governors order, for they cannot get enough food. I also wonder if we, the consumers, won’t see food shortages a bit later this year? ‘Twould serve us right, I suppose.

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    • There should be a re-blog button just to the left of the ‘like’ button, but if there isn’t, please feel free to simply copy and paste into a post of your own! I don’t mind, and in fact am honoured that you wish to share it! Thanks, Nan!

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  7. Money or the acquisition of it seems to harden some hearts.We have to remind some people that we would be their help in times of need and see if they will do the same now.Find a politician who needs some Kudos and get them to start organising.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, but there’s no profit in throwing it away, either, so why not at least see someone get some benefit? Yep, oil … and coal, an industry that is already, and has been, in the death throes for years. He’s a stupid, stupid ‘man’.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Yeah…tell me the Idiot in Chief really wants to move ahead and win the election by a landslide? Cough up some of his millions to help farmers distribute this food. Oh no…that would set a precedent that his rich bitch minions would have a hard time getting on board with. While I am not religious in the traditional sense, we are racking up a very steep negative karmic debt that no amount of charismatic evangelical prayer will be able to pay off. And last I heard God didn’t accept cash, gold or credit cards….😡

    Liked by 4 people

  9. As a country that prides itself on helping relieve the plight of people in many other countries, there can be no excuse for its own citizens to languish in poverty and hunger. I am not against helping people in need around the world, but that should also include every person in need within our boundaries. Over 50 years ago, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September of 1963, John F. Kennedy said : “Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world – or to make it the last.” How then have we as a country failed so miserably to bring about even one of those things here? Mahatma Gandhi explains it well : “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘Twould seem that we have taken many steps backward since JFK made that speech, yes? Sigh. In my book, there should be a prison sentence for anybody caught destroying food that could have fed the poor in this nation ’til winter. It is simply unconscionable. I understand that the logistics of getting the food from a farm in Podunk Iowa to the people in inner-city Los Angeles or Chicago are daunting, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and there are plenty in this nation with pockets deep enough to find the solution … if only they cared.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s been that way for years in Canada. Farm associations are only allowed to sell certain amounts of their produce, including dairy. I really do not know what prcentage of crops are destroyed, I hope it is not as high as you reported, though it might be, but I know it is done.
    Most food banks cannot handle fresh produce in large amounts, and I doubt farmers can afford to drive all over the place trying to give food away a little bit here and a little bit there. Certainly if there was a central distribution site for food banks as there is for grocery stores and restaurants, etc., it might be easier to distribute it, but the money is just not there to do that. Food banks, by their very nature, are small operations disconnected from each other, each trying to raise enough money and food donations to keep themselves afloat. No one is generous enough to organize them and supply them like the big supermarket companies do. If they had refrigeration capabilities, that would be so much better, but they cannot afford it.
    And as far as the world goes, a non-profit organization cannot get surplus food to where it needs to go. Governments do some of that, but not widely enough or often enough.
    The 1%ers could do this easily if they would get off their asses, but why should they try when their neighbours are not. Besides which, people starving in shithole countries don’t deserve help, they don’t produce wealth for the 1%ers, they would be a drain on their incomes.
    Bitch, and keep on bitching, Jill. Someday it might get heard by someone who cares and can do something about it. Maybe…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. this is horrible and reading about all that milk being flushed down a pipe into a river is very sad.

    It seems to me that these multimillion-air Christian leaders could help out a little more, I’m sure they could pay volunteers to drive trucks to farms that are in the vicinity and pick up food for their communities.

    Now with milk, it’s probably a different story as it has to go through a process but even then, I’m sure there’s a way.

    With social media, there is no excuse not to set something up on their facebook pages asking for volunteers all over the country to help if the leaders of these churches personally cannot do the driving or distribution. People would love to help, they just have to be asked.

    We’ve seen over the last few years how individuals can be creative with social media to help people from afar so there is no excuse for them not to do something, anything but spread the message of the gospel from the comfort of their homes on their social media channels.

    I have news for them. Spreading the gospel of Jesus has less to do with talking and more to do with acting and these guys need to do a lot more action oriented things than just run off at the mouth.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Jill, even before the pandemic, we are a nation of wasted food. And, we are a nation with too many hungry people. There some strides being made with a few groups, but for some reason we have an inability to connect these two problems with a solution. It is easier to throw surplus food away, but that needs to be an unacceptable answer.

    We need to insist our leaders address this. Keith

    Liked by 5 people

    • What you say is true … it sickens me that grocery stores and restaurants throw away enough food to feed every poor person in this country, and think nothing of it. But to see farmers plowing under their entire harvest because the restaurants and hotels aren’t open to buy it … and no way to get it to the people who need it … breaks my heart and makes me furious at the same time. There has to be a better way! Yes, our leaders need to address this, but … we both know it will not happen under the current regime. And for the immediate situation … surely something can be done to get all that food into the cities where there are homeless and poor!

      Liked by 2 people

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