Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The crisis in Egypt: all about bread?

Bread Is Life: Food and Protest in Egypt

"...Whoever ends up seeing the nation through to its next phase would do well to keep bread high on their list of priorities.

In the last few days, soaring food prices have been cited as one of the proverbial straws that led Egyptians to take to the streets in frustration over Murbarak's 30-year rule. It wouldn't be the first time that food has been a catalyst for social upheaval in the northern African nation. In 1977, what came to be known as the Egyptian Bread Riots broke out after the state ended its subsidies of basic food staples. Hundreds of thousands of poor Egyptians took to the streets; scores were killed and hundreds were injured. Thirty years later in 2007 and 2008, as food prices soared and food riots swept cities across the globe, panic over a disruption in the supply chain of flour and bread in Egypt again unfolded into deadly protests."

Here is an interesting comment by Vasumurti:

...According to Buckminster Fuller, there are enough resources at present to feed, clothe, house and educate every human being on the planet at American middle class standards.

The Institute for Food and Development Policy has shown that there is no country in the world in which the people cannot feed themselves from their own resources.

Moreover, there is no correlation between land density and hunger. China has twice as many people per cultivated acre as India, yet less of a hunger problem. Bangladesh has just one-half the people per cultivated acre that Taiwan has, yet Taiwan has no starvation, while Bangladesh has one of the highest rates in the world.

The most densely populated countries in the world today are not India and Bangladesh, but Holland and Japan.

Many of us believe that hunger exists because there's not enough food to go around. But as Frances Moore Lappe' and her anti-hunger organization Food First! have shown, the real cause of hunger is a scarcity of justice, not a scarcity of food.

You can say that again.

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