Who’s better for food? Obama or MCain?

Articles
October 14, 2008

Who’s better for food? Obama or MCain?

As we approach Election Day, the issues at the forefront with this term's presidential candidates have focused primarily on the state of the economy, our energy supply, climate change, health care and national security. What we haven't heard much about is what we are facing with rising food costs, which is also an important factor in all of those glaring issues that our nation is facing. Without attention being paid to price and abundance of our food supply, a vital component is being ignored. As of the beginning of 2008, rising food prices pushed 75 million more people into the status of what is defined as “hunger”, and some predict that number could double by the end of the year. By the year 2050, we will need to produce almost twice as much food as we do today based on current population trends which predicts a global population of over 11 billion mouths to feed; and be able to produce it on a shrinking land mass, hence the reason why climate change and sustainability should be on the minds of the world and our presidential candidates.

As we approach Election Day, the issues at the forefront with this term's presidential candidates have focused primarily on the state of the economy, our energy supply, climate change, health care and national security. What we haven't heard much about is what we are facing with rising food costs, which is also an important factor in all of those glaring issues that our nation is facing.  Without attention being paid to price and abundance of our food supply, a vital component is being ignored.
 
As of the beginning of 2008, rising food prices pushed 75 million more people into the status of what is defined as “hunger”, and some predict that number could double by the end of the year.  By the year 2050, we will need to produce almost twice as much food as we do today based on current population trends which predicts a global population of over 11 billion mouths to feed; and be able to produce it on a shrinking land mass, hence the reason why climate change and sustainability should be on the minds of the world and our presidential candidates.
 
Although we may be hopeful that the current market rebound will in turn affect the prices we are paying for food and energy, what cannot be ignored is the risks at hand with those who will be losing jobs and struggling to feed their families.
 
But we haven’t heard a single speech or line uttered at any of the debates about what is for us the most important long term issue.
 
With weak harvests, high demand, and rising energy food costs, national security is at risk as well. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell addressed Congress back in February with his annual threat assessment saying, "The double impact of high energy and food prices is increasing the risk of social and political instability in vulnerable countries," He cited corn protests in Mexico and bread riots in Morocco as examples. In addition, with transportation costs at an all time high, delivering aid to hungry populations has become much more difficult for relief organizations.
 
Although both candidates have proposed solutions to the nation's health care crisis, our health (and the national cost) is directly affected by how properly the population is fed, and how we approach illness and disease prevention through healthy eating. While we strive to make our environment healthier and our economy healthier, human health is also at stake.