Monday, April 14, 2008

Food for Malfus

I heard the name Thomas Malfus on the radio this morning. NPR was reporting that certain people in the world would be deprived of 'their share' of the world's grain production if we used fuel created from grains as an alternative to fossil fuel. The story somewhat implied that the US is responsible for hunger on less developed continents.

There are a couple things I disagree with in this respect. Firstly, Malfus, who claimed population would eventually outgrow the world's food supply, was wrong. Humans are intelligent. Unlike the animals who eat and eat until the food is gone, humans plan ahead. We don't just reproduce wildly, we make families. Although many young people have accidents, most of us take careful consideration before reproducing.

Secondly, the US is NOT responsible for the lack of food in other countries. Our farmers produce food, not for some global communal cause, but to make enough money to survive. I really have a problem with the idea that just because the US produces a lot of food that a portion of it belongs to other countries. Most of these third world countries for which we've taken responsibility are extremely fertile. If managed properly, their food supplies could dwarf ours. If we are to look at the world food supply in terms of each nation doing it's part, these countries are the ones not doing their part.

As far as grain alcohol being the alternative to fossil fuels, I don't think there will be one solution any time soon. I might be wrong, but I think there will finally be a true fuel competition in the future. Instead of having a fuel monopoly, many companies and fuel sources will compete for a market share. This is the way it should have worked the whole time, anyway. Allowing petroleum to dominate and virtually monopolize the fuel market was a huge mistake.

Give a man bread, and you've fed him today. Teach him to make bread, and you've fed him for a lifetime. Dumping food into the hands of warlords and dictators isn't saving anyone from starvation. Humans are intelligent. We can feed and fuel ourselves. Let a free market prevail and it will benefit everyone.

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