Originally posted by GSquared
I think that the largest famines of the last 10 years or so were the direct result not of inherent problems with food production, but of government policies and politics that interfered with the distribution of food aid. Our neigbour to the north, Zimbabwe, is a case in point- food aid is simply not reaching the vast majority of hungry people because of a corrupt and venal government. We live in an imperfect world
Yesterday I was watching the latest film by french director Agnes Varda entitled "the gleaners and I" (les glaneurs et la glaneuse). The premise of the film was to follow those people who practice the almost abandoned gleaning after the harvest of vegetables. But, that only serves as an excuse to focus on the practice of picking as seen not only after corn harvest season is over, but after potatoes are machine collected: 10 tons/potato season are DISCARDED usually because they don't fit the 2-4 inches paradigm of the market. Gleaners then come and pick potatoes to their heart's content. Oysters, dislodged by heavy storms get the same treatment. Vintage wine growers do not permit gleaning and prefer to stomp on all unpicked grapes and let them rot. Tomatoes in greenhouses can be picked at the end; apples from orchards as well. There are laws that specify that gleaners are allowed to glean provided they stay behing the picking farmers x yards. The film also follows gleaners of the city: people who pick their food from trash cans outside the supermarkets: products discarded because their expiration date was yesterday; outside the open markets: apples, lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, even cheese. Some of them are doing this consiously: there is too much wasted food and they do not like to see anything get away. There was a 2 michelin french chef, a young man, who gleans most of his products to be used in the restaurant!
I suggest that you see this film: it is not judgmental, but raises important questions about property, respect of nature, willingness to help others.