The map above shows food security across the globe — obviously, green is good, yellow not as good, orange even worse and red is crisis.

When I look at this map I find it hard to deny that Peter Singer has a point.  How can we, in good conscience, live in a world where significant numbers of people aren’t sure that they will have a “next” meal?  Arthur may be right in that there is no direct obligation between persons to give — but, it seems to me that as members of the human race we have an obligation to do something to change this situation.

Our Earth produces enough food to feed us, especially if methods of growing food are adjusted to produce more with the same number of resources.  Meat is resource intensive, especially in terms of water and water is a major reason parts of the US are not good for crops.  If we could re-allocate by reducing the amount of meat we produce we could grow more grains for export.

Further, we’re using corn for ethanol — which drives up the price and drives down the amount available for export.  A longer-term solution may be hybrid / electric cars, but only if we use an alternative to fossil fuels in order to make electricity.  We should also significantly improve public transit so that people who live near many other people can efficiently get across town to work etc.

Finally, it is no coincidence that food security maps closely to political instability.  They’re closely linked because hunger, in many ways, is a political problem not a production problem.  It’s a vicious circle because a hungry country is also an unstable country.  I’m not sure how to solve this, but perhaps the “Arab Spring” will spread to Africa and other places in dire need of reform.

In the meantime, ask yourself what you can do to improve food security for someone else.


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