In Haiti, where most people get 22% fewer calories than the minimum needed for good health, some are staving off their hunger pangs by eating “mud biscuits” made by mixing clay and water with a bit of vegetable oil and salt.
Meanwhile, in Canada, the federal government is currently paying $225 for each pig killed in a mass cull of breeding swine, as part of a plan to reduce hog production. Hog farmers, squeezed by low hog prices and high feed costs, have responded so enthusiastically that the kill will likely use up all the allocated funds before the program ends in September.
Some of the slaughtered hogs may be given to local Food Banks, but most will be destroyed or made into pet food. None will go to Haiti.
This is the brutal world of capitalist agriculture — a world where some people destroy food because prices are too low, and others literally eat dirt because food prices are too high.
…The actions in Haiti paralleled similar protests by hungry people in more than twenty other countries.
In Burkino Faso, a two-day general strike by unions and shopkeepers demanded “significant and effective” reductions in the price of rice and other staple foods.
In Bangladesh, over 20,000 workers from textile factories in Fatullah went on strike to demand lower prices and higher wages. They hurled bricks and stones at police, who fired tear gas into the crowd.
The Egyptian government sent thousands of troops into the Mahalla textile complex in the Nile Delta, to prevent a general strike demanding higher wages, an independent union, and lower prices. Two people were killed and over 600 have been jailed.
In Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, police used tear gas against women who had set up barricades, burned tires and closed major roads. Thousands marched to the President’s home, chanting “We are hungry,” and “Life is too expensive, you are killing us.”
In Pakistan and Thailand, armed soldiers have been deployed to prevent the poor from seizing food from fields and warehouses.
Similar protests have taken place in Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. On April 2, the president of the World Bank told a meeting in Washington that there are 33 countries where price hikes could cause social unrest.
Fidel Castro called biofuels "genocide," and he was right. And there can be no question as to the identity of the perpetrators of this global genocide: the Lords of Capital that formulate the foreign and domestic policy of the United States. That policy calls for 20 million acres of corn from states like Iowa to be converted from food to fuel. As should have been expected, such a massive diversion almost immediately pushed up the price of all other basic foodstuffs - a global disaster made quick and easy by the fact that, over the past several decades, planetary food production has been taken over by agribusiness - the speculative human parasites that control how food is bought and sold, and to whom, and for what purpose. These Lords of Capital are killers on a mass scale.
These are nothing less than crimes against humanity, and cannot help but destroy the lives of millions who are already at the very edge of the precipice.
The so-called "market" - which is actually a club of super-rich men who distort and destroy everything of value to humanity that they touch - will be the death of us all, and much quicker than through the effects of global warming, which is also greatly accelerated by the ghoulish, greedy rush to grow food for cars rather than people. In such a murderous environment -manipulated purely for the profits of the Lords of Capital - neither trees nor peasants stand a chance. The United Nations says it needs about half a billion dollars for the most critical cases of starvation, but no amount of emergency aid is sufficient to make up for the wild price rises that have already occurred - and which will put trillions in the pockets of the Lords of Capital.
Agribusiness wiped out small farmers in the U.S., and impoverished and pushed off the land untold millions of peasants, worldwide. Now the Lords of Capital have imposed a triage of death by starvation on the planet. The people who live on two dollars or less per day will have to die, and then, as prices rise, the three dollar people will follow.
Again I ask the question, what is the solution to this issue, much like others, when there is a worldwide system that thrives off of such injustices? The markets are not the solution. Capitalism is not good for people and other living things.