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World Hunger: Twelve Myths [Paperback]

Frances Moore Lappe , Joseph Collins , Peter Rosset
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 24 1998 22
In this completely revised edition of the classic on world hunger, three experts on food and agriculture expose the myths that prevent us from effectively addressing the problem. Written in a straightforward, easy-to-read style, "World Hunger" shakes many tenaciously held beliefs and strives to convince readers that by standing together with the hungry we can advance not only humanitarian interests but our own well-being.

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From the Back Cover

The Revised and Updated Edition of the Classic on World Hunger from the Internationally Recognized Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First.

The completely revised Second Edition includes:

o Substantial new material on hunger in the aftermath of the Cold War

o Global food production vs. population growth

o Changing demographics and falling birth rates around the world

o The shifting focus of foreign assistance in the new world order

o Structural adjustment and other budget-slashing policies

o Trade liberalization and free trade agreements

o Famine and humanitarian interventions

o The Third Worldization of First World nations

In this completely revised and updated edition of the most authoritative book on world hunger, three of our foremost experts on food and agriculture expose and explode the myths that prevent us from effectively addressing the problem. Drawing on and distilling the extensive research of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), Lapp, Collins, and Rosset examine head-on the policies and politics that have kept hungry people from feeding themselves around the world, in both Third and First World countries, as well as the misconceptions that have obscured our own national, social, and humanitarian interests. Written in a straightforward, easy-to-read style, World Hunger: Twelve Myths shakes many tenaciously held beliefs; but most important, it convinces readers that by standing together with the hungry we can advance not only humanitarian interests, but our own well-being.

"World Hunger addresses problems of enormous human significance with valuable and often surprising information, much insight, sound common sense, and fundamental decency. It should become not only a book for study, but a guide to action."-Noam Chomsky, MIT

"A marvelously lucid message: the most important cause of death and disease is hunger; the remedy is food; the remedy exists. Their message swiftly demolishes the myths and powerfully arms us for the political task of ending hunger, here and throughout the world."-Dr. Barry Commoner

Frances Moore Lapp is the author of twelve books including the international bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, and co-director of the Center for Living Democracy in Brattleboro, Vermont. In 1975, she and Joseph Collins founded the Oakland-based Institute for Food and Development Policy. Dr. Collins' many books include Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity, and Aid as Obstacle: Twenty Questions About Our Foreign Aid and the Hungry (both with Lapp, as well as No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba, and Chile's Free Market Miracle: A Second Look. An author, lecturer and consultant on international development issues, Collins makes his home in Santa Cruz, California. Peter Rosset is the Executive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy. Dr. Rosset's many books include A Cautionary Tale: Failed U.S. Development Policy in Central America, The Greening of the Revolution: Cuba's Experiment with Organic Agriculture, and Agroecology. Dr. Luis Esparza is a Geographer from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MYTH: With food-producing resources in so much of the world stretched to the limit, there's simply not enough food to go around. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Warning Against Market Fundamentalism April 2 2002
Format:Paperback
This book does an excellent job of showing how despite the economic growth that has been spurred worldwide thanks to deregulation, liberalization of trade and finance, and improvements in information technology, adherence to market fundamentalism has contributed to creating stark disparities in the distribution of wealth between developed and developing nations, as well as within those nations themselves.
Nevertheless, globalization, for whatever faults it possesses, has made the people of the nations of the world feel more connected than ever (In fact, I'm writing this from Japan, where I have lived for seven years). this book sensibly points out that In order to come up with a food policy that will minimize hunger worldwide, naturally poverty must also be reined in. It seems to me that in order to significantly reduce poverty, all nations must make a fundamental shift in their foreign policy away from acting for the benefit of national interests and toward the benefits of the human race as a whole. I cannot say whether mankind is ready for such a change at this juncture.
However, The book concludes that the freedom to eke out a living (the problem of the poor) supersedes the right to accumulate unlimited wealth (the hoarding of wealth by a small number of people). While this is most certainly true, it also seemed to oversimplify the problem of disparity of income based on the very facts presented in the book. While the book did denounce communist regimes at one point in the book, I felt that the conclusion of the book unneccessarily demonized wealthy individuals and major companies and called the proletariat of the world to unite.
For this weakness in its conclusion, I can only give this work four stars, but still I do strongly recommend giving a careful read to this text for the invaluable information it provides on this terrible problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms What I Have Always Suspected March 30 2002
Format:Paperback
The authors of this book have made some compelling and thought provoking arguments- arguments that go beyond the topics they touch upon, namely, hunger, democracy, security, politics and economy. The implications of this book are far-reaching, as the larger issues it addresses call into question the very nature of modern development, and ultimately, the long-term viability of the human race.
It really is hard to believe that there is hunger in a world of plenty. Even when food production is increased, hunger is not abated- it only increases further. Although many famine-stricken countries have been written off as hopeless, a critical look at the histories of these countries will show that hunger and famine are recent phenomena. These phenomena result when time honored agricultural traditions of sustainable stewardship and subsistence cultivation are abandoned for export-led development trajectories heavily reliant on cash crops grown with imported goods, methods, and technologies. This state of affairs is a situation largely encouraged and increasingly demanded by the wealthy nations.
The wealthiest fifth of the world's population eats very well, of that I am certain. The wealthiest fifth can eat what it wants, when it wants, and how much it wants. It can do this by extracting and exporting the natural resources of the third world, in the form of luxury foods such as coffee, tea, pineapples and cashews. These natural resources would otherwise go into the production of subsistence crops, crops biologically suited for the specific climatic, topographic, ecological and cultural conditions found in the third world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The emperor has no clothes! March 10 2002
Format:Paperback
There are few people in this country who have done more to raise consciousness about food, economy, and natural resources than Frances Moore Lappe. She was a prophet for sustainability long before it became fashionable to buck the emerging globalism. Her *World Hunger: 12 Myths*, an expanded and updated version of the earlier *World Hunger: 10 Myths*, is a pivotal text.
The central claim defended here is that hunger is a question of distribution, not scarcity of food or surplus of people. Hunger, in short, is a political problem, and in *12 Myths* Lappe and her co-authors systematically debunk the misconceptions and spins that blind us to the real nature of world hunger.
This book is subversive in the best sense of the word. It shakes our own complacency; it dares to say that the self-serving corporate and political explanations for world hunger have no substance; and it offers strategies for actually doing something to solve the problem. The thing is this: we're all implicated in the problem of world hunger. All of us eat, and in eating we at least implicitly condone the maldistribution of foodstuffs that gives us tomatoes and kiwis in the dead of winter while farmers of these exportable cash crops in the third world starve. But it doesn't have to be this way. As Lappe says, "Where and how we spend our money--or don't spend it--is a vote for the kind of world we want to create. For example, in most communities we can now choose to shop at food stores that offer less-processed and less-wastefully-packaged foods, stores managed by the workers themselves, instad of conglomerate-controlled supermarkets. And we can choose to redirect our consumer dollars in support of specific product boycotts . . . "
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