People Dying of Hunger and a Fancy New iPhone

Food riots are still on my mind. Turns out I didn’t have to look to broader news outlets for that breaking story, I could have just caught up on the 1,000+ unread items in my Google Reader. If I did, I would have come across this slap in the face from Shaun Groves:

“If the government cannot lower the cost of living it simply has to leave,” said protester Renand Alexandre. “If the police and U.N. troops want to shoot at us, that’s OK, because in the end if we are not killed by bullets we’ll die of hunger.”

In other news, rumor is Apple’s releasing a 32GB iPhone in May for only $599!

Ouch. But he’s right.

13 thoughts on “People Dying of Hunger and a Fancy New iPhone”

  1. It still sounds like they agree that biofuel is the main problem. It’s not even environmentally friendly. The world is filled with lemmings when it comes to climate change/global warming/environmentalism. It seems like everyone just wants to run with it, instead of actually using their brains. We’ve become so full of ourselves that we think that we can actually control the universe, either by destroying it, or saving it. We need to focus on more practical and reasonable issues, like helping these people afford to buy food.

  2. I don’t really agree that people are lemmings when it comes to climate change/global warming/environmentalism – I think that being cautious of how we use our resources and doing our best to reuse or recycle what we can is important. I think the biofuel was something that was created with good intent but didn’t pan out they way everyone had hoped.

    But what are the ways we can help people afford to buy food? One thing I’ve always wondered about…why aren’t more people encouraged to eat vegetarian? How much land are we using to grow grains to feed livestock? More people could be fed with the grains/vegetables grown than with the livestock that eats those grains, right?

    I haven’t had a chance to read all the articles on the food riots, but what suggestions have been made to help solve this issue?

  3. We need to stop focusing on halting climate change. It’s a natural occurance which we have no control over. I’m not saying that trying to pollute as little as possible is bad, but curtailing economic growth, especially in developing countries, is evil. We need to allow these countries to develope and use technology. I think that encouraging people in these countries to eat a vegetarian diet is like encouraging them not to use electricity. I’m just fed up with the whole global warming hysteria and its true purpose, which is to stop progress and send us back to the caves from which we came. The obscene amount of money that is currently being spent trying to reverse the natural warming of the globe would be much better put to use buying people in these countries technology/education/medications and anything else which will improve their quality of life.

  4. The true purpose of global warming hysteria is to send us back to the caves? What?

    Regardless of what you believe about global warming, I think pollution and other environmental concerns (deforestation, erosion, water shortages, etc.) are still valid. I don’t think we should put these concerns over hurting people, but if it’s possible to address these concerns and still help people, we should do that.

    Abby makes a good point about vegetarian options. I don’t think we need to go total vegetarian, but cutting back on meat here in the developed world (I don’t think Abby was saying we should force the developing world to go vegetarian) would be a more equitable use of food (less steak=less cows for meat=less crops for cows=more crops for people=lower prices). It’s not like we need to eat a steak every day.

  5. I was actually suggesting that the world as a whole consume less meat in order to produce more food. The more developed countries would obviously have to make the bigger sacrifice because we consume more meat (and more food in general).

    And thinking about it, I think that that developed nations really need to consider the quantity of food that they are eating. Restuarant portion sizes are way too big. People buy an over-abundunce at the grocery store only to have it go bad and be thrown away. Left-overs are not always saved and eaten the next day. If we concentrated on buying what we needed and not what we wanted, maybe the demand to produce so much food would be reduced.

  6. Abby,
    If people in rich, developed countries want to buy food at a restaurant or a store and then throw it away, that’s their perogative. They bought the food. They can do with it what they choose. I assure you that as food prices rise, you will see less waste at the restaurant and the supermarket.
    So you’re saying that we should cut back on the amount of meat that’s consumed so we can grow more veggies???

    But what about the cattle ranchers? How do you address their loss of business?
    “It’s not like we need to eat a steak every day.”
    What does this mean??? I don’t NEED a lot of things. I don’t NEED a computer, I don’t NEED a car, I don’t NEED to have children, I don’t NEED to buy a house, I don’t NEED a TV, I don’t NEED to worship, etc. I WANT all of those things and am fortunate enough to 1) live where they are available to me and 2) be affluent enough to afford them. Who gets to tell me what I need and what I want?
    The Globe and Mail sure makes it sound like “biofuel” is the biggest problem…
    Why are you so intent on dictating people’s behavior? Your suggestions make you sound preachy, arrogant, and communist.

  7. Rick, What I’m trying to say is that with the food shortage we need to be careful of how much we are taking for granted. I can’t justify buying huge portions and throwing half away because “it’s my perogative”. Just because I have the finacial means to do that doesn’t mean it’s a wise decision.

    You’re right – we don’t need all those things you listed. Instead we decided that we are privilaged enough to have them and in our haste to gather up all of the things that we want we have ignored those who actually need those things and have no means to get them.

    My point is, we know there are people (lots of people) in this world who do not have enough of the essencials – so how are we changing our ways to help them?

  8. Limor, I disagree with that article. Maybe that’s where some wacko environmentalists are, but I don’t think that’s where most people are.

    Rick, I’m not trying to tell people what to do. I’m throwing out ideas for how we in our wealth can choose to help poor people. If you don’t want to, then don’t. I’m not saying you have to. But I don’t think it’s preachy, arrogant or communist to suggest we choose to cut back on our needs/wants to help people.

  9. Here’s another article talking about biofuel not being the sole problem:

    “Work by the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington suggests that biofuel production accounts for a quarter to a third of the recent increase in global commodity prices.”

  10. “In other news, rumor is Apple’s releasing a 32GB iPhone in May for only $599!”

    Nope! 8GB for $199, and 16GB for $299. ;-)

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