World hunger is not a pretty topic (especially when it’s in our yard) but mostly one we are able to shove in the back of our thoughts. According to a report published today, the economic nightmare that is engulfing the world has intertwined itself with the global food crisis to such an extent that it is impossible to separate them. Notables from the IMF, together with hunger advocates (including Bob Geldorf), are trying to figure the whole thing out. Wow – big job.
Fortunately not to worry. You see, the food industry is actually making profits, proving that economic matters are not all lost. Food giant Nestle SA is a case in point. According to an article in yesterday’s Wall St. Journal (“Higher Prices Fuel Nestle’s Profit,”), Nestle CEO Says ’09 Isn’t All Doom and Gloom.'” The reason? the company successfully “pushed through” price increases despite the recession and falling commodity costs.” Apparently, “investors were impressed by Nestle’s ability to increase prices during a recession.” Yeah, impressive indeed.
While food company profits have been steadily rising, shouldn’t we ask, “At what cost?” Remember, everything comes at a price. At the same time 100 so-called notables are meeting in Italy’s Aspen Institute to ponder big thoughts like keeping this monetary and human ship afloat (and frankly, aren’t we all having that sinking feeling every now and again these days?), we have a system where humongus global food companies are essentially ramming price increases through, well, because they can. Makes us lose our appetites.
We are all connected. We need to wake up and understand that our actions have effects, sometimes far-reaching, unimaginable impacts that we may never understand or even know about. Time to ask ourselves, will we support food companies that act with recklessness towards a compassionate and sustainable food ecosystem? Let’s not forget that Nestle SA has ruthlessly pursued an anti-breastfeeding campaign, causing hardship and nutritional issues for vast numbers. Seems to us that before more people are starving, it’s just the right time to advocate more attention, responsibility and connection for our food chain.