Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Much Food is $700 Billion??

In the light of the recent stormy weather on the Global Financial front and the various knee jerk responses of governments around the world, reading this article on the SBS website gave me pause for thought. It seems astounding that $700 billion can be found 'just like that' to prop up a bubble of greed, when the far more alarming problems of global warming and food shortages could be all but solved with a fraction of that money.

To bring it all down to a human scale the SBS article (by journalist Phil Lees - creator of the Cambodian Food blog Phnomenon) crunches the numbers of the $700 billion corporate bailout down into bite sized chunks so we can picture exactly how much food that figure translates into - and how many starving people could be fed.

Here are some examples of what $700 Billion equals:
  • $700 Billion = 2000 good old American Apple Pies for every man woman and child currently living in the United States

  • $700 Billion = Dinner for the entire population of the top 5 most populated countries, at one of the world's most expensive restaurants: El Bulli in Spain could shout the entire population of China, India, USA, Indonesia and Brazil to dinner.

  • $700 Billion at the other end of the spectrum = the UN World Food Programme able to feed 86 million people for the next 23 years.
Like I said, Food for Thought...

This is a photo from the fresh-produce marketplace in Kota Bahru in northern Malaysia, 2007.


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