Frances Moore Lappe: World Hunger…Again and Again and Again

Posted on July 26th, 2010 by

In 1979, Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins published a little book called World Hunger: Ten Myths. Subsequently revised to include twelve myths, the book was reprinted countless times and is still a classic in the field of food and justice, a mainstay publication of the organization Food First.

In the book, Lappe and Collins make the then-startling argument that hunger worldwide is not caused by a lack of food, but by a lack of justice. In the latest issue of Yes! magazine, Lappe revisits these issues, in an article entitled “UN Calls for Climate Friendly Diet.” Her short article discusses a recent UN Environment Programme report, which calls for a turn to plant-based, organic diets. While applauding these moves, Lappe chides the UN for its tendency to blame rising population for the world food crisis.  She writes:

“I wish the UNEP had emphasized that population growth and our kind of economic growth (producing vast waste) are themselves symptoms of deeper problems.

“Almost all population growth in the next 30 years is predicted to be in poor countries, in large measure reflecting the lack of power many women have over their fertility and the dearth of economic opportunities available to them.”


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