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A Shortage of Democracy, Not Food - By Frances Moore Lappé

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A Shortage of Democracy, Not Food - By Frances Moore Lappé
http://www.progressive.org/mag/lappe0708

A Shortage of Democracy, Not Food
By Frances Moore Lappé, July 2008 Issue

Forty years ago, squirreled away in the basement “Ag” library at U.C. Berkeley, I wanted answers to one question: Why were 960 million people going hungry?

At the time, newspaper headlines and experts from academia to the United Nations had their straightforward answer: Human numbers had hit the Earth’s limits. But using my dad’s slide rule, I put two and two together: Our “modern” farm economy was actively creating scarcity from abundance, in part by feeding a third of the world’s grain to livestock.

I could hardly believe it. Could this Ph.D-less twenty-something be right and the experts wrong? Stuffing my self-doubt, I composed a one-page handout. I assumed that if people just understood that hunger was needless, of course they’d get busy changing the economic rules creating it. The handout became Diet for a Small Planet.

I was right that hunger would worsen unless we dug to its roots. I was wrong, though, about what would happen next.

<snip>

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