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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/20/14

Smoking Gun: Global Food Waste Debunks Overpopulation Theory and Humanitarian Aid

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B. C Kayser-Scherman
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Would it be all about money again? To find out, let's follow Alice down the rabbit hole...

(countdown: time to choose Love over Fear)

The UN is quite a paradox onto itself as its reports continue to deliver excellent mathematical clues as why the system 'is clearly designed to fail'. Yes, you read well and instead of trying to patch its cracks getting larger and deeper it is about time to admit that Global Oligarchy is a 'cabal' whose century-long timeline has undeniable track records. Finally, the secret is more obvious than never. The flaws and evidence have become too huge to be concealed. Up to these days, not that many are aware that the UN (the ultimate aim of the cabal) was engineered by the very same club of elitist financiers that plotted the rise and downfall of the Soviets in order to replace Communism with its sugarcoated version, renamed Socialism. Isn't the 'Communist Manifesto' in favor of almighty elites ruling over the means of production (7th Plank), progressive taxation (2nd Plank) and centralization of credit (5th Plank) after all? As we shall see, Karl Marx must be laughing in his grave as you read this. This column isn't meant to take side but demonstrate that the system is utterly broken - beyond repair - and that we have to let it go in order to rebuild a new one from scratch. What kind of a system do we have left but Capitalism, would you ask? It is about time to quit thinking in these terms. The Right vs Left paradigm is a diversion preventing from seeing what is really going on while truth is hidden in plain sight. However, this being said, genuine Capitalism has never existed for long periods of time over the course of human history and thus remains above all a theory for scholars and economists to fight over. Moreover, our current system has nothing to do with Capitalism at all, in a way a movement such as 'Occupy Wall Street', against Capitalism, is mis/disinformed. This being said and let's face it: what we now globally have is a 'Fascistic Triumvira' composed of corporations, central banks and governments that have caged the human race in a prison that is so vast that bars and fences are invisible.

Although this investigation aims at delving into the deception that is 'food waste', it is useful to mention that 'water waste' too is a highly disturbing topic that will be thoroughly investigated in a future column. For the moment, just remember that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization report (FAO) indicates that we currently extract less than 10% of the 43,750 cubic kilometers of fresh water (see 1st link next paragraph) returned each year to the Earth's rivers, lakes and aquifers. One inevitable question pops into mind: is this just plain carelessness or eco-terrorism? How does it come that despite the so many technological advances, the so-called rich West hasn't been more efficient at redistributing our 'blue gold', which life depends upon, but can spend trillions on standing armies? Is taxation a scheme for collateral destruction? As a matter of fact, aquifers can be found almost everywhere.  It is more about how deep one is willing to drill to reach them. The climate change argument stands no chance here. The most cynical perhaps is that the 'sodas industry' unscrupulously exploits aquifers to manufacture their drinks (poisoned with high-fructose corn syrup and hazardous dyes) and which are bottled in plastic containing some 24,000 chemicals wrecking our bodies havoc . So much for our world CEOs and lawmakers who are supposed to have graduated in the most prestigious colleges . Could education itself turn out being a massive hoax? 

Now back to our 'food waste' issue. The same FAO, along with the Stockholm International Water Institute and the International Water Management Institute, concluded that close to half of all foods produced worldwide -- are wasted after production. Another source mentions that some 54 percent of the world's food wastage occurs during production, post-harvest handling and storage, while 46 percent occurs at the processing, distribution, and consumption stages. And of course, these large quantities of wasted food go along with an equal amount of wasted water. What is truly interesting and appalling at once here is that while the waste happens at the consumer level in industrialized countries, developing countries are dominated by high losses at the post-harvest and processing stage. The absurdity here is that Western organizations probing food waste in poor countries accuse a lack of efficient technology and modern infrastructure. Exactly what do enjoy high-income countries. Additionally, another FAO report claims that 1/3 of the food (representing 470bn economic loss and 3.3bn tonnes of CO2 emissions globally every year) produced never reaches our plates and we'd need 50% more food to feed world populations by 2030. Do you see the aberration and hypocrisy at play here? We do not have an overpopulation problem but a failure of leadership... though we must start wondering: if it has gone that bad, do we actually need 'people to tell us what to do, organize and control our food chain? It is time to take a deep breath in and carefully analyze this because the answer is very crucial, the latter will eventually determine the fate of mankind. We stand at crossroads and they are only two directions possible. One of which is headed toward self-extinction, and the other, reclaiming our sovereignty.

Produce and die anyway! While many, who do not grasp the ill-effects linked to our food chain, might think that it would be easier to sue corporations all together to resolve the outrageous conundrum, it doesn't work that way as multinationals operate for profits. Food retailers have the habit to shift their losses on to the consumers, all of which in the form of inflation. Additionally, retailers also contribute to waste as a result of their contractual arrangements with suppliers. Failure to supply agreed quantities renders farmers or processors liable to have their contracts canceled. As a consequence, they plan to produce more than actually required to meet the contract, to have a margin of error. Surplus production is often simply disposed. Under such coercive business attitudes, it is easy to figure out why farmers and retailers too cause food spikes. They too have commitments to meet. Sure, there are other deceiving and irrational factors behind price hikes -such as unnecessary strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and the demand for cosmetically perfect food - but if supermarkets throw out food or donate it to food banks, at the end of the day, it really wouldn't make any difference: they must keep Wall Street Shareholders happy. Reporting honestly such staggering losses would cause a global stock market crash overnight. The fear factor helps evil prosper. Lawmakers as well as the consumers want to keep their jobs. So, until this unsustainable framework collapses under its own weight, lies and food inflation are here to stay, it is just too bad for consumers. Those who don't have a garden or access to a local farm will be the first to starve when 'reality' sets in. But don't you worry, meanwhile Queen Elizabeth and Obama have their own gardens since 2009.

The Century of The Self and its pursuit of happiness 'spelling doom'. As a matter of fact, the structure of our food chain rests on the factories and retailers which must keep us into a consuming frenzy mode as if there were no tomorrows. Look at the amount of food-oriented TV commercials and ads in magazines. Our lives are enchained to theirs but it only can end at the expense of the many since nobody can live on 'borrowed times' for ever. One thing is certain though, eventually Western central banks will pull the plug on our highway living on credit, which they induced in the first place.

The intended failure of humanitarian aid. The topic of food waste alone is enough to grasp that aid is colonialism in disguise. Of course, there is always someone or something to blame for when it is not working according to plans, but lets take a look at the fundamental dynamics of humanitarian aid. Most colonies were left on the brink of ruin and in the hands of (Western friendly) dictators after their independence on purpose. So the concept of 'Humanitarian Aid' could be invented. The hugest downside of 'Humanitarian Aid' is that it depresses a country's economy by slowing down factories. And who says less production, says less jobs. Then 'the velocity of money' sets the downward spiral into motion. And because the economy is kept (artificially) depressed, there is less tax revenues, and governments are forced into odious and illegitimate debts to operate, which only make the matters worse. It goes without saying that such governments are very weak and thus subjected to be overthrown unexpectedly. This generally leads to a currency breakdown (with risk of civil wars or guerrilla fighting), which turns out being a huge bounty for Western corporations since the economic conditions allow them to buy everything for pennies on the dollar. 
So indeed, under such circumstances, how could developing countries prevent food waste better? How can they improve their infrastructure? And further, what does it tell about our Humanitarian Organizations? How can the The American Red Cross CEO accept an over half a million dollar salary, and that of the UNICEF receive more than $1 million without feeling any remorse? 
Let's now digress a little bit: and what about the best paid religious NGOs leaders. Take a look at the top 25 compensation packages while you are at it, it is only one click away. Obviously, Charity Inc has its own elites' inner circle. What do we make of all those pictures of starving children appearing on our TV screens on regular basis? The scandal of humanitarian and foreign aid alike is so appalling that it should rightfully make us wonder about the concept of 'enforced generosity' embodied by the Welfare State. Volunteering and acting locally is the only way to make it worthwhile. Of course, this alarming food waste, plays into the hands of humanitarian organizations. The only core question here remains: why didn't they see anything coming? A Closer Look At The Global Madness Using 2011 retail prices, the avoidable food waste in the United States (for the year 2009) has a total retail value of 197.7 billion USD. Consumer waste alone amounts to 124.1 billion USD, or nearly 63 percent of the total retail value of wasted food (Venkat 2011). Danielle Nierenberg co-project director of the Worldwatch Institute contends that 31 million tons end in landfills or incinerators each year. That's roughly equivalent to the weight of 74 Golden Gate bridges!

With 47 million on food stamps, American is literally becoming a Food Stamp Nation. CBS reported last September that the House has voted to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5% reduction to the nation's main feeding program used by more than 1 in 7 Americans: this will force 47.7m people to live on less than one meal a day. The cost of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -SNAP- has more than doubled since 2008, coming to nearly $78 billion last year. (washingtonpost/2013/09/23). While this clearly shows that the SNAP doesn't address the food waste and is thus a mere scheme to waste taxpayers' money, a pertinent question surfaces: why aren't food stamp recipients allowed to get their groceries directly from their local food banks instead? Don't worry, it will simply never happen as long as profit-ponzi economics is being implemented. Meanwhile, doctors lobby against food-stamp reductions.

Obesity becoming a plague in the so-called rich nations. As a response, the British grocery giant Tesco vowed on 21.10.2013 to reduce the nearly 60,000 tons of food wasted by its suppliers and shoppers each year. As part of the measures, Tesco said it would end a range of multiple-buy offers, which encourage consumers to over-buy. Simultaneously, studies show that western countries consume every day a surplus of 1400 calories per person for a total of 150 trillion calories a year. The article continues: 'Times have changed, overabundance times are over and the costs of this irresponsible and inefficient behavior are increasing. The world population has grown tenfold and hunger is still persistent and growing --also in Europe--, the EU has constant and unsustainable yearly deficit of 75 million tons of biomass with the rest of the world, the costs of disposal for waste continue to increase and EU legislation pushes in prevention'. We should all shake our heads in disbelief here. 
So not only seeds are manipulated genetically (think Monsanto), crops are too sprayed with various pesticides, food getting additional chemical treatments and irradiated during processing, all of which destroys nutrients and causes cravings, making us sick and putting on weight. You see, corporations cash in on all ends of spectrum. Big Pharma Inc is there to help. Have you ever heard, by any chance, a commercial on TV praising healthy and balanced diets with organic wholesome foods then citing all the side effects of conventional supermarket items? If they do so when featuring prescription drugs, why not about food? Under such circumstances, what to think of the pharmaceutical, diet and fitness industries? Many people have no idea how dire our situation really is.

Same gloomy picture in the UK and EU. One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that could have been eaten, according to a report from the government's waste advisory group, Wrap. (theguardian.com/environment/2013). In Britain every year 18 million tonnes of food still perfectly edible are thrown away by households alone for an annual retail value cost of 14 billion pounds: at the same time 4 million people in the UK do not have access to a healthy diet (zerowasteeurope.eu/2010/12). Wasting food and hunger side by side is scandalous. In France only, each citizen throws away every year 7kgs of food still in the original package when in the same country, 8 million people are at risk of poverty.

In March 2013, according to a study by the European Commission, 89 million tonnes or 179 Kg per capita of food are wasted every year in the European Union. By 2020 this could increase by over 40%. Well, cynically we should rejoice at the prospect that if the IMF 10% Supertax Bail-in Proposal on all Eurozone household savings, is passed, such an increase will most likely not come true... but let's not fool ourselves: in this economic environment, less buying will too result in more food price inflation. However, inflation cannot go on forever. At some point, hyperinflation sets in and completely destroys the purchasing power.

In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, up to 150kgs of food produced is lost per person every year, according to FAO research.(guardian.uk). In the region, there are at least 265 million people hungry, heightening the travesty of the food waste problem. More than a quarter of the food produced in Africa spoils before it is eaten.

As China has enjoyed a boom over the past two decades, food waste has too become a major concern. According to WorldWatch Institute, more than $32 billion of food is thrown away in China annually, although 128 million Chinese live below the poverty line and often lack sufficient food. (usa.chinadaily.com). But that's China only. An estimated 42 percent of the fruit and vegetables and 20 percent of the grain produced in the Asia Pacific region are lost or wasted. In short: 1.3 billion ton of food, enough to feed 3 billion people - are lost annually.

More banking data. While the West gets fatter and sicker, The World Bank Food Price Index rose by 60 percent in the course of just a few months of 2008, and international prices of maize, rice, and wheat increased by 70 percent, 180 percent, and 120 percent, respectively, compared to the mid-2007. Between 2000 and 2012, the World Bank global food price index increased 104.5 percent, at an average annual rate of 6.5 percent. But the spikes affect everything. For example: The wholesale price index (WPI), India's main inflation measure, climbed to 6.46 percent last month - its fastest rate since February - pushed up by food prices such as a 322 percent jump in onion prices, government data showed (Reuters: 10.14.13). Here the inflation index just follows the supply and demand, though it is outrageously misleading as we throw out food like never before. As you can see, inflation also causes scarcity since everything becomes more expensive. It should be obvious to all by now that The World Bank pretends to address a distress that it helps sustain in the first place. The squeeze can only worsen and there is a brick wall forming on the horizon.

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Libertarian Screenwriter, philosopher. 2001-2009: supported of The Gold Action Anti-Trust Committee (gata.org) and a hard currencies. Was involved in the promotion of two documentaries by Danny Schechter: "in Debt We Trust" and "plunder", as (more...)

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