Food's Uncertain Future

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"Fixing the Food Crisis" [May 19] neglected an essential policy solution used since Joseph counseled the Pharaoh in the Old Testament: stockpiling food for a rainy day.

Grain and food reserves have been dismantled in many countries where misguided ideology advised them to rely on foreign imports for their food shortfalls. In the United States, we significantly reduced government stocks and suspended the farmer-owned reserve under the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act. Countries weathering the food crisis best are those with grain and rice reserves on hand, like Korea and China, whereas those adhering to free-trade policies have opened up their markets to formerly cheap imports and global speculators. The recently passed farm bill represents a missed opportunity to address this vital component of American food security.

Katherine Ozer


Executive Director
National Family Farm Coalition
Washington, D.C.  

Your article on the food crisis was very worthwhile and complete. I am using it as a basis for my presentation of current events to the senior citizens living in our retirement community. I am also requesting that our general manager list support items included in "How You Can Help." I think methods of cutting population growth could be the most positive step in helping stop the crisis in the future. Via my church, I hope other members and I can increase donations in support of the worthwhile retailers as suggested.

V. Mitchell Liss


Idaho Falls, Idaho  

Americans can eat the same amount of beef that they currently enjoy and still help the food crisis. Eat "grass fat" beef. The cattle are raised on prairie pasture, drink water from rain-filled stock ponds, and take no irrigated corn. The beef is lean and healthful to eat. True, the steaks are not marbled and as tender, so you learn to cook them a little bit differently to make them more tender. But the hamburger is so lean, you have to add a little water to the skillet to keep it from sticking. It is delicious.

Brenda Daniher


La Junta, Colo.  

I have one more idea to add to "How You Can Help": Donate to Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, Ark. 72202. You can choose what type of livestock and training you wish to donate to "hungry and impoverished people so they can live a life of dignity, hope, increased income, and enough to eat."

Lori Corgan


Litchfield Park, Ariz.