Myths About Hunger

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1. There is not enough food to go around: again, the world produces enough food to give every person on the planet enough food to well exceed his or her recommended daily caloric intake. “Even most ‘hungry countries” have enough food for all their people right now. Many a re net exporters of food and other agricultural products” (
2. Nature is responsible for the famine: “It’s too easy to blame nature. Human-made forces are making people increasingly vulnerable to nature’s vagaries. Food is always available for those who can afford it – starvation during hard times hits only the poorest. Natural events rarely explain deaths; they are simply the final push over the brink. Human institutions and policies determine who eats and who starves during hard times” (

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3. People in developing nations are too hungry to fight to change their situations: “Bombarded with images of poor peoples as weak and hungry, we lose sight of the obvious: for those with few resources, mere survival requires tremendous effort. If the poor were truly passive, even fewer of them could even survive” ( There is movement within starving countries to stop hunger on the grassroots level, but the poor can do little right now when faced with obstacles created by “large corporations, the U.S. government itself, and World Bank and IMF policies” (
4. Large farms are good: Actually, those who own large farms tend to leave much of them idle. “By contrast, small farmers typically achieve at least four to five times greater output per acre, in part because they work the land more intensively and use integrated, and often more sustainable, production systems” ( The solution would seem to suggest that large land owners give their tenant farmers “secure tenure” in order to give these farmers incentive “to invest in land improvements, rotate crops, or occasionally leave land fallow” to increase small farm output even more (
5. The Green Revolution is a way out of hunger: While the Green Revolution has indeed helped the world to produce millions of tons more food each year, “focusing narrowly on increasing production cannot alleviate hunger because it fails to alter the tightly concentrated distribution of economic power that determines who can buy the additional food” (