By Ian Angus
[First of two articles. Click here for part two.]
“If the government cannot lower the cost of living it
simply has to leave. If the police and UN troops want to shoot at us,
that's OK, because in the end, if we are not killed by bullets, we’ll
die of hunger.” — A demonstrator in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
April 28, 2008 -- In Haiti, where most people get 22% fewer calories than the minimum
needed for good health, some are staving off their hunger pangs by
eating “mud biscuits” made by mixing clay and water with a bit of
vegetable oil and salt.
Meanwhile, in Canada, the federal government is currently paying
$225 for each pig killed in a mass cull of breeding swine, as part of a
plan to reduce hog production. Hog farmers, squeezed by low hog prices
and high feed costs, have responded so enthusiastically that the kill
will likely use up all the allocated funds before the program ends in
September. Some of the slaughtered hogs may be given to local Food Banks, but
most will be destroyed or made into pet food. None will go to Haiti.
This is the brutal world of capitalist agriculture — a world where
some people destroy food because prices are too low, and others
literally eat dirt because food prices are too high.