HUNGER: Man's Struggle to Feed Himself by John Scott

HUNGER: Man's Struggle to Feed Himself

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The message is that it can be done--if population growth levels off (as the author expects) and food production and distribution improve, as they have the means of doing: the problem, as he sees it, is not one of inherent imbalance but of improper management. Examined first in explanation are the factors of food production--soil depletion and rejuvenation, erosion and reclamation; irrigation via dams, tapping sub-surface water, desalination, rainmaking; fertilizers and the irony of being unable to afford them; new varieties of grain, with qualities bred for local conditions (e.g. dwarf Mexican wheat and its many offshoots); pesticides and herbicides (""hopefully"" to be further refined); improvement of animal stock by breeding, of animal consumption by education (juxtaposed as equally irrational: starved sacred cows in India, the fat-saturated populace of the U.S.); the potential yield ""From Neptune's Kingdom."" The ABC's of Nutrition"" are perhaps too basic but they do substantiate the statistical profile of malnutrition and such suggested remedies as fortified grains and protein supplements. Even more remedially-directed are the remarks on patterns of production and marketing--especially as affected by government policies in the Less Developed Countries. Here comparison is made between effective use of private incentive in Pakistan and inefficient, inequitable controls, coupled with priority to the public sector, in similarly situated India. How ""to convert 'needs' into 'demands'""--as undertaken by the FAO, the World Bank, U.S. AID, philanthropic organizations and private investors--leads to the 1968 American Assembly on overcoming world hunger and its recommendations, the most critical being a much greater proportionate investment of gross national product--particularly by the lagging U.S.--in the economy of the L.D.C.'s. Self-evidently important and, thanks to Mr. Scott's background (travel and a similar study for Time-Life), concretely instructive.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Parents' Magazine Press