Why Protest The World Food Prize

By Thomas Mathews for Occupy the World Food Prize. The World Food Prize (WFP) is concerned about world hunger, yet they have not said a word about the destruction going on around Des Moines, the city they call home, of thousands of acres of the greatest food-producing resource on the planet. This is a problem that can be
remedied if the WFP has the will and the courage to take on the powerful corporate interests that benefit financially from urban sprawl development. The WFP must speak out about loss of farmland, starting with the land around Des Moines, the location of their
headquarters. Des Moines happens to be the place where much of the most productive land on earth can still be protected from the bulldozer, if enough people care.

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As Latin America Moves Left It Successfully Confronts Hunger

By Marianela Jarroud in IPS News – The Latin American and Caribbean region is the first in the world to reach the two global targets for reducing hunger. Nevertheless, more than 34 million people still go hungry.

“This is the region that best understood the problem of hunger, and it’s the region that has put the greatest emphasis on policies to assist vulnerable groups. The results achieved have been in accordance with that emphasis,” FAO regional representative Raúl Benítez told IPS.

According to The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) 2015 report, released Wednesday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), hunger affects 5.5 percent of the population of Latin America – or 34.3 million people.

That means the region has met the target of halving the proportion of hungry people from 1990 levels, established by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the international community in 2000, with a 2015 deadline.

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France: Illegal For Supermarkets To Throw Away Food

FRANCE’S PARLIAMENT VOTED unanimously tonight to ban food waste in big supermarkets – outlawing the destruction of unsold food.

Under the new law, supermarkets will have to prevent food waste and will be forced to donate unsold but edible food to charity, or for use as animal feed or compost.

They will also be able to donate products for energy and fuel purposes, France Info radio reports.

Socialist MP Guillaume Garot, who sponsored the bill, said:

It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods.
Under the new law, all large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

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Trillions In New Wealth, Millions Of Children In Poverty

America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.

Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, “People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy.” The 16 million kids on food stamps know what it’s like to go hungry. Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children should be working. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” insisted Georgia Representative Jack Kingston, even for schoolkids, who should be required to “sweep the floor of the cafeteria” (as they actually do at a charter school in Texas).

The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders is disturbing, shocking.

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Report: When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger

The 2015 Hunger Report, When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger, released today by Bread for the World Institute, identifies the empowerment of women and girls as essential in ending hunger, extreme poverty, and malnutrition around the world and in the United States.

“We have made great strides in reducing hunger and poverty at home and around the world, yet women continue to be treated like second-class citizens,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Progress towards women’s empowerment has been slow due to discriminatory laws, unpaid work caring for the family, and traditions that demean their capacity as decision makers.” “Eliminating barriers and empowering women around the world is key to ending hunger in our time,” said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute. “We must not tolerate discrimination against women and instead, demand a comprehensive approach to women’s empowerment that includes applying a gender lens to all programs and policies.”

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United Nations Calls For An End To Industrialized Farming

In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world’s agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. That’s right, we do not need giant monocultures that pour, spray and coat our produce with massive amounts of poisons, only to create mutant pests and weeds while decimating pollinators and harming human health. Don’t believe the hype: We do not need genetically modified foods “to feed the world.”

From my experience, many of these – how shall we say it – “worker bees” (i.e the GMO salesmen) who spread this propaganda, actually believe conventional tactics are necessary to ensure food security. They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and cannot envision another possibility. The changes threaten their very existence.

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The Other Spotlights On Fighting Hunger

The World Food Prize is being awarded this week at a glitzy event that draws international dignitaries to Iowa and showcases Norman Borlaug, the Iowa native who founded the Green Revolution. Also being awarded are the Food Sovereignty Prize and Strong Feisty Woman Award, which honor grassroots efforts to fight hunger.

These other awards also challenge the premise of the World Food Prize, with its reliance on high-yield, genetically modified seeds. These groups, which include Occupy the World Food Prize, say the GMO model can actually increase hunger, and the goal should be to make it easier for people to produce food.

The difference in approaches is well illustrated by the people being honored.

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MA Begins Commercial Food Waste Ban

A great starting point for businesses and institutions trying to divert waste from landfills and save money is to reduce the total volume of food waste they generate.

Some methods to accomplish this include reducing the number of items offered on menus, providing flexible portioning choices, discounting items close to expiration at supermarkets, ordering and scheduling food deliveries more efficiently and utilizing proper food storage techniques.

Another option is to donate surplus food to local food banks or pantries. Not only does this keep valuable materials out of landfills, it also provides consistent sources of food to people in need throughout your community. Learn more about starting a food donation program at your business at recyclingworksma.com/donate

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How ‘Starving Student’ Cliche Became Harrowing Reality

Meanwhile, it’s increasingly clear that the economic struggles students face during school follow them long past graduation. A major new report from the Pew Research Center, “Millennials in Adulthood: Detached from Institutions, Networked With Friends,” notes that people between 18 and 33 are the first generation in the modern era to have “higher levels ofstudent loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles.” This, even though they are the “best-educated cohort of young adults in American history.”

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U.S. Poverty Crisis Cries Out For Sixties Style Direct Action

This is a nation whose people are sliding into decline with 46 million already sunk below the poverty line.

Here are just a few of the stats: African-Americans(AA) poverty rates 27%, nearly triple those of whites (10%); AA’s—making up 14% of the population yet comprising 28% of those on food stamps; AA’s comprising 40% of those in prison, about 1 million out of a total of 2.3 million; wirh about 33% of all Hispanics and AA’s living in substandard housing compared with 14% of poor whites.) The question today is not “What is the problem?” We all know the stats. We have walked the mean streets. We have seen the unemployed panhandling on the street corners. Some hardy souls among us have even visited the prisons. The question is, “What is the solution?”

The answer is nothing is left to us but non-violent direct action.

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People Die Of Starvation In Besieged Damascus Refugee Camp

Dozens of children, elderly people and others displaced by the Syrian conflict have starved to death in a besieged camp in Damascus, according to reports. The sprawling Yarmouk camp, in the southern suburbs of the city, is home to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians who have been trapped under a year-long blockade.

“There are no more people in Yarmouk, only skeletons with yellow skin,” said Umm Hassan, a 27-year-old resident and mother of two toddlers. “Children are crying from hunger. The hospital has no medicine. People are just dying.” Her three-year-old daughter and two-year-old son were rapidly losing weight from lack of food, she added.

Since October, 46 people have died of starvation, illnesses exacerbated by hunger or because they could not obtain medical aid, residents said.

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Poverty Is Making People Sick Because They Can’t Afford Food

Income inequality is making us sick.

Well, it’s not making all of us sick. Only the poorest of us. That’s what a new paper in Health Affairs found they looked at when people go to the hospital for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

The basic idea is that people struggling to make it paycheck-to-paycheck (or benefits-to-benefits) might run out of money at the end of the month—and have to cut back on food. If they have diabetes, this hunger could turn into an even more severe health problem: low blood sugar. So we should expect a surge of hypoglycemia cases at the end of each month for low-income people, but not for anybody else.

That’s what researchers found when they looked at the numbers for California between 2000 and 2008.

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