The blame game just resumed. George Bush and Condoleezza Rice issued a statement a couple of days ago, blaming the fueling food prices in the US on India and China! According to our dear geniuses, the Indian middle class is demanding better nutrition, which is driving the food prices up. Wicked, man! As though blaming India & China for global warming wasn’t enough.
So here’s what I found.
First up, world consumption statistics rank Westerners as the highest consumers of calorific content and nutrition, not Chinese, not Indians. Not just that, the US also ranks the highest in food wasting. Apparently, 40-50% of edible food, or $43 billion worth of food gets thrown away every year. In fact, Brit environmentalists have been campaigning that a reduction in such food wastage would also result in reduced harmful emissions responsible for all the climate change. And they say that the US went into the whole food crisis because of their sectoral shift to biofuel which used up 12% more food grains than 2007, reducing its agricultural production. There’s lots more scientific data to support all this and I found some here.
If you’re still thinking that the Indian middle class is suddenly eating too much, get a load of this. In a year, Indians consume an average of 178 kg of grain, compared to the 1046 kg consumed per capita in the US. In fact, this consumption has actually increased in the US, by 100 kg since 2003, and it has remained nearly static in India, despite its growing middle class. So it turns out, people have started eating more in the West. And it’s not just about grain, India definitely has a whole lot more vegetarians and pseudo-vegetarians, meaning much less meat-related consumption too. Times of India can give you many more stats too, here.
Well, aren’t you glad his term is finally coming to an end? I’d say there is one more place for him, on TV.
Are you smarter than a fifth grader?