Food Choice Today Affects Hunger Tomorrow

Hunger and the 20 million kids that starve every year are on the top of my mind again this week because of so many uninformed decisions being made by people who simply do not realize what effect they can have.

Again in the news, an African nation is letting its people starve rather than allow food aid from sources connected to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Not one person has proven to have been harmed by this GMO technology, yet millions of adults and children are dying every year because a government decides not to accept U.S. food aid.

The EPA seems to always be in my news feed. Now this agency is taking heat, once again, for funding anti-farm billboards that state farmers need more regulations. While this may be a little more subtle, it’s an example of how federal regulations makes food more difficult and expensive to grow. Kids starve because of this agencies policies!

The misinformation being taught in our schools is concerning too. This week I read schools are teaching kids that grazing cattle is more environmentally friendly than feeding corn to cattle. This sways opinions and, during their formative years, children misunderstand how food is raised. This too, affects how food may be grown in the future. Honestly, the most efficient and productive way to raise cattle depends largely on geography. In Iowa, it’s more efficient to raise corn on our productive ground and then feed that corn to our cattle. There are some areas, especially out west, where crops cannot grow today. However, cattle can convert forage from 75 percent of the land that cannot grow food. Rangeland can be managed properly if the government doesn’t get in the way.

Agriculture can lead to economic development opportunities until information gets misrepresented or politicians get overly involved. Such is the case currently in North Iowa where there is an opportunity to bring a processing plant to process pork that would potentially employ 2,000 people. Think of what these jobs could mean to local school enrollments and dollars spent in local stores!

Half our citizens are on some type of assistance. Kids need to eat two meals in school because there aren’t getting the proper nutrition at home. Yet, many North Iowans say they don’t want “the type of jobs” that a processing facility would bring. They’re raising concerns about the smell and pollution.

When the opportunity comes to help with these problems presents itself, they look for the downside. Why? Is the number of food insecure families here due to a lack of jobs? Or is it a lack of understanding of how food is raised? Or how nutritious food is prepared?

How do we make it possible for all to eat? This election can make a difference! Politics get old… but we can’t ignore the fact that kids are going hungry! How can you make a difference? Get involved!