My take on the issue is that the problem is not food over production in the US but food underproduction in poor countries. In the long term it would be better to increase agricultural output in the poor countries than ship excess food from US and other rich countries to the poor world. When people are starving, that is another issue, than we need to help, immediately.
I think you guys are both right. There's a lot of wastage as Ray said, but Eric pointed out the major problem. Nobody's going to solve that problem with handouts or even overseas shipments of food. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Politics, as usual, is what keeps the hungry part of the world from being able to fish.
With all due respect, I think you guys need to read the following report from the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology.http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf
The essential problem is that large quantities of food are wasted both
in industrialised countries and in developing countries, but often for different reasons. In theory, there is no need to produce a single carrot more food than is currently being produced. We just need to tackle the various known causes of wastage.
According to the above report, percentages of food losses are just as high in developing countries
as they are in industrialized countries, the difference being that more than 40% of the food losses in industrialized nations occur at the retail and consumer level
, whereas more than 40% of the food wasted in developing nations occurs at post-harvest and processing levels
The main causes of food wastage in developing countries are due to a lack of infrastructure such as transportation and roads, proper storage facilities such as fridges and cool rooms, lack of processing plants to handle seasonal fluctuations of food quantities, unhygenic practices involving contaminated water and unsafe use of pesticides, and unhygenic methods of handling food in general.
I may have missed a few points. Read the report.
In terms of calories, vitamins and minerals, that is, everything required for an ideal, healthy diet, the world already produces more
than three times as much food required for every man, woman and child on the planet.
It would be crazy to think we can solve a localised food shortage problem by ripping down yet more forests. There has
to be a smarter approach.
Here endeth the lesson. Thank you.