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The Big Food Bill

Touch the Soil News #1068 (Feature photo – bulk carriers are the foundation of global food trade – public domain)

While Americans feel their nation can produce a lot of food, much of the food American’s like must be imported. Imported foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, livestock, dairy and poultry now amount to around $120 billion a year – and that is before some of the other costs such as distribution and retailing are added on.

Almost 90 percent of America’s croplands are planted into four crops – corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. It is doubtful that a diet of these genetically constrained mega-crops can provide all the nutrition Americans need.

The world’s leading food experts at the Food and Agriculture Organization (a division of the United Nations) recently reported concern over the rising need of countries to import food. The poorest nations (those without sufficient finances or adequate land and water) are facing increased food insecurity.

Since 2000, the cost of food being imported has tripled to reach $1.43 trillion in 2017. For the poorest countries, the cost of imported food has risen close to five fold. The FAO estimates the cost of imported food will increase another $400 billion this year (2018).

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