Author Raj Patel Says Organizing Can Address Food Supply Problems

Apr 11, 2012

Author Raj Patel says the problem with the world’s food supply is not the amount of food available, but how to get that food to the people who need it. He spoke at the University of Idaho’s Borah Symposium on Tuesday.

The numbers on food supply are quite startling to hear, and journalist and best- selling author Raj Patel has them at his fingertips, starting with the 48.2 million people in the United States who are food insecure. “A quarter of all American school kids are on some form of food assistance, and one in two of our young people at some point in their academic careers as a child will be on some sort of public assistance.”

The contradiction, Patel says, is that the world has plenty of food but yet people are starving. It is a distribution problem, he believes, one that can be solved by people organizing. “There are a lot of groups around the country at the moment that are organizing to address this distribution problem and I think that’s really quite hopeful.”

Patel says there is hunger today because food is rationed through the marketplace, and many people have to juggle the cost of food against other needs, including health care and rent.  Patel is the author of several books, including “The Value of Nothing.”