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Resistance is already here - it is usually local and around specific issues, but its impact can set off a sequence of positive changes. Each article in this issue is followed by ideas for action.

One option is to use our consumer power carefully by supporting the produce of local farmers which is more likely to be in the local grocery shop than in a supermarket. We can support green produce and fairly traded goods.

Another is to reduce our consumption of meat. The world is overpopulated with artificially high numbers of farm animals, resulting in deforestation both in the West and the Majority World. Meat production in the West uses grain which many poor people are unable to buy.

Major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) benefit a host of local projects which have an impact - whether direct or indirect - on reducing hunger. They need your support and can be a useful source of information.

Finally, you will find little mention of food aid in this issue. This is because such aid has usually been inappropriate, creating dependency and disrupting local food production. It would be much better if food aid for a country in need could be purchased from a neighbouring country which has a surplus rather than being transported halfway around the world. Other forms of aid need to be tailored to countries’ needs, rather than being used for political expedience.

Worth reading
One of the more accessible books is World Hunger: 12 Myths by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins (Earthscan, London, 1988). Although much of the information in this classic is dated, its argument remains, on the whole, straightforward, persuasive and relevant. Two clearly written books which have often been consulted for the facts in this issue are Hunger 1995: Causes of Hunger by Bread for the World Institute (BWI, Silver Spring, 1994) and Seed and Surplus by Bertrand Delpeuch (CIIR/Farmers’ Link, London, 1994). On trade the title of Tim Lang and Colin Hines The New Protectionism: Protecting the future against free trade (Earthscan, London, 1993) says it all.

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©Copyright: New Internationalist 1995

New Internationalist issue 267 magazine cover This article is from the May 1995 issue of New Internationalist.
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