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Is There a Relationship Between Population Growth and Hunger?

Touch the Soil News #833 (Feature photo – NASA Earth Photo) Over the past few months, global food experts have been unnerved by the increase in the number of starving/undernourished people. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome recently reported that from 2015 to 2016 an additional 38 million people were added to the ranks of the starving. This brings the total number of starving from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million at the end of 2016. What will 2017 bring? In the midst of the news about rising hunger, Africa has emerged at the focal point. Over the past 25 years, the number of…

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Scotland, at the Doorway to Economic Change

Touch the Soil News #552 The most frustrating thing people experience is the lack of correlation between work and a path out of poverty – i.e. adequate access to food. Ensuring that work is a reliable route out of poverty is not what the world’s economic systems are focused upon – hence folks have looked to government and politics for answers. Given that the world’s economics are simply a surface expression of the financial realms; can politicians really do anything about eliminating hunger and poverty? It seems the financial realms are what control politics – not politics controlling the financial realms. In a stunning bravery to face the truth, the…

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Food Hardship

Touch the Soil News #546 Have there been times in the last 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed? This is one of the questions asked by Gallup Polls. If you answer this question yes, you are considered one of those Americans that experiences food hardship. Out of the roughly 176,000 respondents to this poll in 2014 and 2015, approximately 14.5 percent of households without children said yes and about 20 percent of households with children said yes. The problem with these statistics is that they are averages and can mask areas of significant problems. In response to the…

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Food Calamity Takes Over a Nation

Touch the Soil News #534 Critics around the world are blaming the hunger crisis in Venezuela on its socialist government and how Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is ruling the nation through presidential decrees. While politics certainly play a role in a nation’s level of prosperity, let’s not kid ourselves – it’s all about the money. A few years ago, Venezuela – as one of the world’s leading oil producers and exporters – was in the money. Oil income was used to subsidize the nation’s poor. Today, one in three Venezuelans lives in poverty – unable to find work to finance the basics. The unprecedented collapse in oil prices simply dried up the…

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Is the Real Estate Market Sending San Francisco into Disintegration?

Touch the Soil News #428 Seeking financial gain is certainly the game much of the world has directed its energies towards. But could this game reach a frenzy whose proportions begin disassembling the American community? Below is a video interview of a San Francisco man whose $1,800 a month apartment rent was arbitrarily increased to $8,000 a month. This man’s story is not an isolated case. Rental rates and evictions are on the rise. Recently, one of San Francisco’s soup kitchens run by the Nuns of Fraternite Notre Dame, received notice that the rent for the soup kitchen facility was being dramatically increased. When one of San Francisco’s most important…

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Is Something Wrong With This Picture?

Touch the Soil News #382 Every month, the USDA puts out numbers on what grain farmers – around the world – are going to produce for the current farming season. Remember that grains (corn, wheat, rice, etc.) are the backbone of the world’s diets both for human food and livestock feed. The USDA numbers quickly become the fodder for speculators – gambling on which way the price of commodities will go. Unfortunately – these financial gambling mechanisms – often drive the prices farmers receive artificially above or below what would happen without speculative pressures. These gambling mechanisms operate in disregard to the almost 1 billion starving people and hundreds of…

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Hunger Versus the Coldness of Law

Touch the Soil News #378 In Italy, when homeless man Roman Ostraikov stole $4.50 worth of cheese and sausages because he was starving, fellow shoppers turned him in. He was fined over $100 and sentenced to 6 months in Jail. The issue went on to Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation which ruled that: “The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of necessity.” The court ruled that Roman did not commit a crime when attempting…

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Feeding the Hungry – Gives Vision to Practical Religion

Touch the Soil News #375 The food landscape in America is migrating beyond mega-farms and USDA policy. It has become an arena not only of social activism, but religious activism as well. It happens frequently that church congregations are seeing their physical assets and members in new and active ways. Grounds owned by churches are converted to food gardens, tended by congregation members with the produce donated to food banks and soup kitchens. Recently the Montgomery News (www.montgomerynews.com) reported on two Lutheran Church congregations in Sellersville, Pennsylvania joining forces to start raising food for the needy. The Jerusalem Lutheran Church had the land and the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church had…

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More Voices Against Food Speculation – Good News for Humanity

Touch the Soil News #320 In the throes of the 2008 financial crisis, there was a concurrent food crises unfolding as well. For those that might remember, financial speculators betting on global grain shortages caused prices in the actual market to spike – sending entire nations into food crisis mode. Almost overnight, the number of people starving around the world jumped from around 800 million to 1 billion. The memory of the effects of this artificially contrived human starvation event (from low-consciousness speculators) has been simmering around the globe. Back in early 2014, the European Union agreed to introduce controls to regulate price speculation on basic foodstuffs such as sugar,…

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Is the World Daydreaming When It Comes to Ending Hunger?

Touch the Soil News #318 We hope not. However, when looking at the theories put forth to solve hunger – one can just scratch their head. By now, most of us have heard it all: In theory, there is enough food to feed everyone – but it is in the wrong location. In theory, the world has enough farmland and water to adequately feed 9.5 billion people (population today is 7.3 billion). In theory, we can end hunger by stopping food waste. Unfortunately the food we waste is often not in the location where there is starvation. In theory, if all the starving families had money, they would not starve.…

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