The Global Food System Is Broken

“Almost one in seven people worldwide is chronically undernourished,” states Oxfam’s latest report, Growing a Better Future. It is sad that in a world where at the push of a button, or keyboard stroke, we can be connected to the other side of the world; there are still people who don’t have enough to eat. As Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Oxfam Global Ambassador, put it in an op-ed piece for Oxfam:

“Even today, in a world where it is possible to communicate across thousands of miles at a touch of a button, eight million people face chronic food shortages in East Africa. Around the world close to 1 billion men, women and children will go to bed hungry tonight.”

Desmond Tutu points out that hunger does not occur because there is not enough food to feed the world’s population. It occurs because the food system is “broken.” He touts Oxfam’s GROW campaign, calling it a “very real plan based on the real achievements of forward thinking governments, companies and communities.” He does caution that fixing our broken food system will “require a totally different approach to the way we produce and share food.”

Oxfam describes the GROW campaign as “about working together, sharing solutions and involving millions of people in a global conversation about food, life and the future of our planet –discussing ideas and then putting them into action.” It’s also described as “about coming together to press governments for urgent action to reform bad policies, to preserve scarce resources and share them fairly, to ensure that everyone has a voice in the system and to support the billion-plus small-scale food producers to grow more and   grow better.”

Oxfam’s report calls for three big shifts in the global food system:

  • Growing better by investing in a new future for agriculture.
  • Sharing better by transforming how the food chain is managed between growers and consumers by ensuring that people are not exploited, that everyone has enough to eat and that benefits are fairly distributed and risks managed.
  • Living better by rethinking our ideas of prosperity and developing better ways to do business, run our economies and live our lives.

The GROW campaign cannot be successful without consistent and persistent pressure from “you and me – to persuade them – by choosing food that’s produced fairly and sustainably, by cutting our carbon footprints and by joining with Oxfam and others to demand change,” as Desmond Tutu so succinctly tells us.

User: Sons of Groucho


66 comments

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Fi T.
Fi T.2 years ago

The mankind, please do something or you're suffering

Abbe A.
Azaima A.4 years ago

very sad

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

Alex, You have amply illustrated the complexities that confront the many poor nations of the world and yet it was the western nations that created the very circumstances in which they say they can now correct.

"Everything has changed except our way of thinking"    
Albert Einstein

The western nations cannot continue to ignore our responsibility of working to heal the wounds and to stop the suffering.

The worlds poor does not need to be fed, they need to be able to feed themselves, it is only then that we will begin to measure any true success.

The western nations that chose long ago to colonize the poor nations, merely castrated the masses from obtaining an education, from learning to stand on their own.

Yes, there are monsters out there, Monsanto, Cargill, ADM and others who want to control all of the worlds food and they even tells us that we can trust them. The World Bank, IMF are just as evil, but within their ranks are so many people who want to do the right thing. They truly believe that sleeping with the devil is their only choice, if they are to realize any measure of success.

To better help Africa, Asia, Latin America, we must first heal ourselves, or we will only bring empty plates to the table.

Alex H.
Alex H.4 years ago

Not one mention of the most glaring reason for this,TOO MANY PEOPLE ON THIS ALREADY 'STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT'PLANET!!!!The Chinese are the only ones to have the guts to take steps to sustain their population,and look how many there still are!Not one mention of giant biotech companies making the situation far worse(in an attempt at population control?!)by attempting to patent staple seed supplies with genetic engineering thus placing a huge burden on subsistence farmers who can't save the seeds?!The United Nations appears to be behind so many programs which appear to be doing good,saving people,improving living conditions when in fact,nothing of the kind is happening and poor countries are being held hostage to the IMF,World Bank and giant corporations bleeding them dry!

Chris P.
Chris P.4 years ago

Yes my country is part of it. Sorry. South Africa

Lynda H.
Lynda Hayles4 years ago

“Shel G”, one day population may be a factor in food shortage/world hunger, but it is not so at the moment. There is enough food produced at the present time to feed every human on earth. The 3 myths about world hunger are 1: there is not enough food, 2: bad weather and 3: overpopulation.

World hunger is caused by politics.

Shel G.
Shel G.4 years ago

We can't possibly address the global food problem without addressing the issue of overpopulation!! There are too many humans on this planet, and due to pyramid scheme economies that depend on the population continuing to expand, policies are aimed at increasing, not decreasing, population growth.
Unless and until population growth is stemmed, these problems will just get worse.

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

If Africa is to once again know the greatest that she once was, it will take the efforts of a friend, who comes to help or as the Japanese have said it for so long:

"A FRIEND IS ONE WHO COMES ON A RAINY DAY".

Remember, Sheba did not seek out Salomon, Salomon sought out Sheba. Did you also know that Africa has long been known as the cradle of civilization and the very beginning of all known language.

My thanks to you Jill R., you taught me a very valuable lesson, there are more than two colors that make up our world and a whole lot of shades of grey.

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

Jill R. If i might address your comments on, "Africans are lazy and don't want to work to feed the world - only themselves".

There once a man named Lincoln and it was he that wrote those famous, eloquent words that we know as the Emancipation Proclamation. He instructed his troops to scour the south and address the remaining enslaved blacks, which numbered in the tens of thousands and inform them of their new found freedom.

Once after, all was said, a black man stepped forward and ask, "whada we do now dat masta is gone"?

When France, Belgium, the Dutch, Portuguese, and so many white guys abandoned their colonies and the blacks of Africa, they left a peoples not unlike those of Lincoln times. Illiterate, few skills but yet we did leave a little something for the poor of Africa.

We left them a small group of black social elite, the few educatioal professionals, doctors and nurses for nations with populations in the millions.

I wasn't long before someone decided that if the whites could control the majority of poor, illiterate blacks, why should they and get rich in the process.

If Africa is to once again know the greatest that she once was, it will take the efforts of a friend, who comes to help or as the Japanese have said it for so long:

"A FRIEND IS ONE WHO COMES ON A RAINY DAY".

Remember, Sheba did not seek out Salomon, Salomon sought out Sheba. Did you also know that Africa has long been known as the cradle of civilization and the very beginni