Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 1988
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Mass Market Paperback
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The results of the Green Revolution were just beginning to be questioned as a way of ending world hunger, and Lappe was leading the way to demonstrate that world hunger could not be solved soley by increased production. Indeed, enough food was being produced to feed the world, but unequal distribution was the underlying cause of the hunger spots in the world. Maldistribution, not malproduction, was the root cause. Later, in another book, Lappe would show that problems existed with maxium production because diets high in red meat caused health problems.
Enough data were available for Lappe to prove her point, and later research has confirmed it. I am glad that I used Food First as a text for a seminar clsss, and her example focused the research in my own book, Culture and Agriculture.
in major agriculture. The author explains how an increase
in food productive capability can result in greater unavailability of foodstuffs for the needy. For instance,
the following consequences may follow increases in land
o land values increase forcing tenants and small farmers elsewhere
o payments in money become the rule although money buys less
o control of scarce land becomes concentrated in fewer hands
o even communal lands are expropriated by powerful individuals
o peasants are trapped into debt bondage
o quantity and market value rather than nutrition become the
formula for agricultural planning
The author explains negations in the Philippines, Bangladesh,
West Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Surprisingly, some researchers have found that a country's
decrease in export earnings may make people better off.
In such circumstances, tenants are better able to enforce their
demands for land and for permission to grow subsistence crops.
This work is an important treatise on the economic aspects
of agriculture. It complements works by David Ricardo and