Mud biscuits in Haiti are going for five cents a piece and the price is rising. For many Haitians, that’s all they have to eat. I just finished eating a low-fat Hot Pocket, two White Castle hamburgers, and now I’m sipping on a french vanilla latte.
In May of last year the United States Department of Agriculture announced that grain supplies were dropping to their lowest level yet, while demand was rising. Riots are breaking out across the world’s poorest countries.
- The world population is growing constantly, while the amount of arable land is declining.
- Climate change is causing a loss of agricultural land, irreversible in some cases, as a result of droughts, floods, storms and erosion.
- Because of changing eating habits, more and more arable land and virgin forests are being turned into pasture for livestock. The yield per acre in calories of land given over to pasture is substantially lower than that of arable land.
- The World Bank wants developing countries to introduce market reforms, including the abolition of protective tariffs, a move that often causes massive damage to local agriculture.
- Speculators are driving up the prices of raw materials. The resulting high oil price leads to “energy crops” being cultivated instead of grain for food or animal feed.
- Millions of people displaced by civil wars need food, and yet they themselves are no longer capable of producing food.
Of course the first response is to inform the world leaders and hope they do something about the worldwide problem. How do average American Christians respond?
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to cothe them, and not to turn away from you own flesh and blood. Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and you healing will quickly appear…” Isaiah 58:6-8