The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century

By Joireman, Sandra | The Christian Century, June 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century


Joireman, Sandra, The Christian Century


The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century

By David Rieff

Simon &. Schuster, 432 pp., $27.00

In 2007 and 2008, food prices jumped sharply worldwide: wheat more than doubled in price, and rice was up by over half. In many parts of the world, people living on one or two dollars a day were simply unable to purchase the food they needed to survive. David Rieff's book is framed by that unexpected spike in prices.

The food price spike was especially troubling because some of the causes--population increase, commodity speculation, increased meat consumption in China and India--were human-made and are unlikely to change. In other words, such spikes could easily happen again and more frequently. Rieff focuses on food prices because he believes that in the future high food prices will cause political and social unrest with far-reaching consequences. This gloomy book questions the ability of the human race to feed itself at all, much less eliminate hunger, as many suggest is possible.

Rieff outlines the debate between those who are optimistic about efforts to eliminate hunger, a group he refers to as food security advocates, and those who are pessimistic about hunger ever being remedied in the current socioeconomic system, the food sovereignty camp. Among the optimists are people like Bill Gates, Jim Yong Kim at the World Bank, and Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia University. They believe that for the first time in history, with the right interventions, sustained global agricultural development could allow everyone sufficient food. They see hunger as a technical problem and contend that the combination of liberal capitalism and public-private partnerships will enhance the world's ability to solve hunger and malnourishment.

On the opposite side is the food sovereignty movement, made up of activists in groups such as La Via Campesina, which opposes transnational corporate agricultural interests as damaging to the interests of small farmers. The food sovereignty movement advocates for systemic change and argues that profit seeking by large agricultural corporations and investors perpetuates social exclusion and generates hunger, particularly in rural areas. This group sees little chance of ending hunger and emphatically rejects the capitalist model of attempting to do so. Rieffs places his sympathies, somewhat unwillingly, with the food sovereignty position because he is concerned about the ability of humanity to feed itself in the future with the world's population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050.

If we strip the contemporary names from the debate, we are looking at an old argument--that between Thomas Malthus, who worried about the coming population bomb, and Ester Boserup, who argued that population pressure leads to technological innovations, which increase agricultural productivity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.