Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The REAL Hunger Games--Food Rationing Coming to a Dinner Table Near You Courtesy of the U.N.

Update:  June 5th is World Environment Day and the UN is asking people worldwide to pledge to reduce their "foodprint". 

The mega bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games, is set in a post-apocalyptic world where food is rationed and seconds are served up to the region whose champion can emerge as the games' victor.  The books and now movies have been a huge success--partially because in America we have no real concept of what food rationing means.  The last time we had rationing was during World War II when every American was encouraged to grow a "Victory Garden" and sugar was in short supply.  But if global climate change enthusiasts and the leftists in our country have their way, we will soon be back to victory gardens and food rationing as a permanent fixture of our society.

To understand where the newest push for government control is coming from, it is essential to understand that the main premise of environmentalists and the entire climate change movement, which has been encapsulated in Agenda 21, is that the primary danger to the world is the affluence of the West, and particularly the United States.  THE PROBLEM: We produce too much, we consume too much and we have too much. Our wealth is something that other countries aspire to emulate, but it is unsustainable.  THE SOLUTION:  Exchange the free market systems and freedom that created Western/American prosperity in the first place for a Central Planning system where are all resources are owned by the government and rationed to the populace.  This will intentionally destroy American wealth and reduce us to the level of poor third world countries, thereby achieving the levels of social equality that Agenda 21 demands. Maurice Strong, the chair of the UN Earth Summit in 1992, expressed this goal in his opening remarks:

"The same processes of economic growth which have produced such unprecedented levels of wealth and power for the rich minority and hopes of a better life for everyone have also given rise to the risks and imbalances that now threaten the future of rich and poor alike. This growth model, and the patterns of production and consumption which have accompanied it, is not sustainable for the rich; nor can it be replicated by the poor. To continue along this pathway could lead to the end of our civilization."

Sixteen years later, Presidential candidate Barack Obama restated this goal in the language of the people in a stump speech in Roseburg, Oregon delivered May 17, 2008:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the Tundra, and just expect that every other country is going to say, 'Oh, okay, you guys keep using 25% of the world's energy even though you only account for 3% of the world's population.'" (Emphasis added)

The past four and half years have seen huge strides in the advancement of the global environmentalist agenda.  Through the proliferation of Smart Growth communities which ration land usage and make housing more expensive, coupled with the Dodd Frank bill which cuts off access to home mortgage loans for 60% of Americans, the government is remaking us into a nation of renters who will spend our lives in tiny urban apartments. Through subsidies of public transportation combined with energy policies that raise the prices of both automobiles and gasoline, the government is going to force as many of us as possible to give up our cars.  The next stage--rationing our food and telling us what we can eat, is right around the corner.

Ever since President Obama took office, the first lady has been harping on the nation that we need to be eating healthier diets.  We saw pictures of her White House garden where she supposedly grows vegetables for her family.  Many thought that her new role as food police was just her "project".  Then Mayor Michael Bloomberg began restricting the use of salt in restaurants in New York and limiting the size of soft drinks.  He tells us that the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens' health by dictating what we eat.  So what's really going on?  Why, with all of the problems we are facing as a nation, is the state and federal government so interested in what we eat?

Last year at the Rio + 20 Summit, the current Secretary-General of the U.N. launched the U.N.'s Zero Hunger Challenge. The Zero Hunger Challenge is one of the Ban Ki-Moon's top priorities, and on the surface a campaign to end worldwide hunger sounds very noble. But like everything else that the U.N. has proposed for the last twenty years, the Zero Hunger Challenge is not really about ending hunger; it's about controlling food and forcing the industrial nations of the world to adopt a system of "sustainable agriculture".  Two of the goals give this away--eliminating over consumption and food waste.  The EPA website features a page showing that Americans waste 35 million pounds of food each year.  So how do we eliminate food waste?  Cut back the amount produced and ration the amount of food available.

The problem with the obesity campaign is that for the most part it has not been well received.  Even uber liberal Bill Maher has said that he has a problem with the government regulating how much we eat and drink.  So now, the climate change people are trying a different tactic--after telling us for years that one in three American children is obese, they are now telling us that one in five American children is hungry.

That is the theme of a documentary A Place at the Table which was released in March of 2013.  A Place at the Table takes statistics that nearly 20% of Americans are living in households with "food insecurity" and distorts them to imply that 1 in 5 children are malnourished or hungry as a result.  This theme is being echoed in a current ConAgra Food campaign which shows little children carrying folding chairs to a long table where a good meal is waiting for them.  The voiceover for this ad tells us that one in five children does not know where their next meal is coming from, but we can help by purchasing foods from the ConAgra family of foods, and they will donate funds to end hunger in America.  This propaganda even made its way into this season's Dancing with the Stars as the band who performed the song in the ConAgra commercial sang the song they wrote for the ConAgra campaign on the show and then repeated the same statistic.

If you listen carefully, the ConAgra campaign never says that 1 in 5 children is hungry--although that is strongly implied.  The reason for this is that the statistics are coming from the USDA's definition of families as "food insecure".  According to the statistics about 20% of U.S. households is food insecure--meaning that they are struggling to provide food at some point during the year. 

So...1 in 5 American kids is hungry--right?  Wrong! In one of the most deliberately misleading attempts to deceive the American public into destroying itself ever to be imposed on us, the Administration and the U.N. are distorting and misrepresenting the facts about hunger in America.  Food insecurity does not necessarily have anything to do with actual hunger at all because the USDA has two categories of food insecurity.  The first category of food insecurity is food insecurity with no reduction in caloric intake or reports of missed meals. Because this category is so broad, The Texas Food Bank Network has a definition of food insecurity on their website. "Food insecurity is the most broadly-used measure of food deprivation in the United States.  The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning 'consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.'"  The site goes on to define what food insecurity does NOT mean, "it is not correct to state that specific individuals in a food insecure household (such as children) definitely experience outright hunger or specific coping mechanisms.  Rather than describing these individuals as food insecure they should be described as 'living in a food insecure home'...it is not correct to assert that every food insecure household is experiencing food insecurity 'right now', will experience hunger 'tonight' or 'does not know where its next meal is coming from.'"

So how many children are actually going hungry?  The USDA has a separate category to classify families where the children have reportedly experienced hunger--food insecurity with hunger or a reduction in caloric intake. That percentage is not 20%; it's just over 1% or about 374,000 US families.

Look, even one hungry child in America is one too many, but 1% of children who are experiencing hunger is a much more manageable number that we could undoubtedly handle with the current safety nets in place.  The other 19% are not actually going hungry--they are just eating less nutritious high calorie foods that cost less than those foods the USDA recommends as part of a balanced diet. Parents may be feeding them sugary or salty, high calorie foods. This is how the government and the left leaning media reconcile the problem of childhood obesity with the problem of childhood hunger--in the world of global environmentalist double speak, hunger and obesity are actually the same thing.

In the trailer for A Place at the Table the narrator, actor Jeff Bridges, tells us that the problem with food insecurity is not that there is no food available but that the right food is not available to families who need it,  and he challenges us to finally make the tough choices to end this problem.  What are those choices?

Environmentalists hate the U.S. system of agriculture because while they admit that it produces a lot of food, they complain that this "high output" system of agriculture which feeds our whole nation is bad for the earth and unsustainable.  Cornell University has summarized this "problem" for us in their study on food mapping, food sheds and sustainable agriculture, "Our agricultural system currently provides a cheap and abundant supply of food.  However, agriculture also causes negative impacts on the environment, rural economies and human health."  We have too much, we produce too much, we consume too much, and apparently we waste too much.

The solution is to get rid of high output farming, and the fertilizers and pesticides that it requires, and move to a system of small, sustainable farms.  These farms are to produce the food that is needed locally for each area so that we can stop the current transportation of food--the average vegetable travels 1500 miles from field to market--that leads to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.  This new push is reflected in the "buy local" food campaigns that are popping up everywhere now.  The Cornell Study on food sheds studied the possibility of growing all the food needed for upstate New York with the food coming from within 30 miles of population centers. The food sheds would be tied to population models, so in order for the food shed concept to work, mobility to and from cities would have to be greatly controlled and restricted or the food planners would not be able to accurately predict how much they needed.  Rosa Koire talks about some of the potential restrictions on freedom that this might pose in her book Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21.  One area that Koire does not cover--travel.  If food is rationed per person based on the population, a resident of one of these cities would not be able to even entertain out of town guests!

Implementation of the food shed concept requires a plan for individual food rationing.   This system of rationing is called a "food print"-the amount "needed to feed an average person in New York with a balanced diet from local land and crop resources with sustainable management practices." Cornell's model included 63 g of meat and dairy per day--about 1/3 of current average consumption of meat and eggs.  By setting a maximum caloric intake for each individual per day and regulating the proportion of vegetables to meat and dairy, the experts at Cornell have calculated that they can feed most of upstate New York with resources within 30 miles.  Unfortunately, researchers concluded that they cannot use these systems to feed any of the major population centers--including New York City.

Cornell's model is generous because it does include some meat and dairy.  Many of the environmentalist proponents of sustainable agriculture and the accompanying food rationing want us on strictly vegetarian diets because livestock  require large amounts of water and consume large amounts of vegetation--both of which make them an inefficient food source.  According to the UN, 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production.  By moving Americans to a "same calorie" vegetarian diet, we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 6%.

What the UN, the environmental /climate change lobby and the White House are not telling us is that the modern "high output" systems of farming are the reason that we are able to avoid famine and starvation.  My mother comes from the mid-West and grew up around farmers.  Farmers used to experience years where they lost a lot of their crops and finally the farms would fail.  When people depend on local farmers for food and the crop fails, the "food shed" has no way to sustain itself.  A rationed food system where the local population is forced to rely for its primary sustenance on whatever is grown within thirty miles would not lead to happy, well-fed people eating a healthful balanced diet--it will lead to people fighting and killing each other for every scrap of food available during times of scarcity. What the U.N. is proposing, and the Administration is promoting, is that we give up a system proven to produce a supply of cheap, plentiful food for everyone for a system that historically has proven to produce famine and starvation. 

In the Zero Hunger Campaign and its promotion through the White House, the entertainment industry and the media, we see a repeat of a cycle that is becoming all too depressingly familiar. First, the government creates a problem--high unemployment and high dependency on government programs through anti-business policies which make it hard for Americans to find jobs.  Restrictive energy policies increase the price of food.  Then the government comes in with a ready-made solution to the problem they just created--more government control over still another sector of our society. All "sustainability" initiatives are about controlling consumption and producing rationing, scarcity, poverty, misery and need.  Many Americans are suffering serious financial problems which have led to the growth of the first category of "food insecurity"--people who are strapped for cash and trying to make ends meet.  This is not due to our system of food production.  It is due to excessive government regulation that kills jobs and makes it tougher for people to find work that pays well.  It is due to rising energy costs resulting from energy policies that raise the prices of transportation and energy usage.  Nobody is denying that families in the U.S. are suffering financially.  But the answer is not more regulation and greater central planning which will lead to more poverty and more suffering.  The answer is energy policies that reduce costs so that the price of energy goes down, which will show up in the cost of those vegetables that travel 1500 miles.  The answer is business-friendly policies that encourage growth so that the underemployed and those relying heavily on government assistance can find work and provide better for their families. 

Next year we have a major opportunity to stop some of this madness.  Many seats are up for re-election in Congress and the Senate.  Find out where your candidates fall on the issues of the UN, sustainability, smart growth, smart code, climate change and all of the other monikers that Central Planners hide behind.  Don't just rely on specific party affiliation to tell you who you should vote for--advocates of Agenda 21 and climate change operate in both parties.  Read candidate interviews and policy statements to find out where they stand, and vote these globalists out of office while we still can.  If we don't, we may find ourselves living out some version of The Hunger Games in our own lifetimes.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. The U.S. government and the UN need to stay out of "central planning" when it comes to food production. There is plenty of room for small farmers, micro-dairies, and raising animals on pasture in each state to help provide nutritious food to the masses. There is a movement for CSA's (community supported agriculture) in many places that helps people get fresh-grown produce, eggs and meats in many states. These should be encouraged and citizens can encourage them by buying into them. But they should not be centrally controlled or mandated by any government. "Big Ag" has a purpose to mass produce things like wheat and corn, but due to the modern farming methods many times the food is not as nutrient dense and the soils get depleted because they use primarily chemical fertilizers and pesticides and do not actually replace the nutrients into the soil. It is possible to do sustainable agriculture on a large scale, but it requires "old-fashioned" methods and is more time consuming. I have some old books on my bookshelf that tells how such can be done. I am not an environmentalist wacko, but I do care about managing land and animals properly and I know it can be done given the land mass in the United States. But I don't want the government mandating it or enforcing it. Bureaucrats make lousy farmers and businessmen, even if they were educated at Cornell or Yale. I say leave farmers alone and leave people alone and give everyone options. Supply and Demand will work if it is not messed with, and sustainable farming, when diversified properly, will provide food for people even when the weather is difficult. And then it is up to individuals to prepare themselves, instead of waiting for government bureaucrats to save them. Thanks for giving us "food for thought!"