Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
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Because food is one of our most basic needs as humans, it can affect nearly everything we do. If malnutrition persists, it has high costs — in individuals, families, communities, and even whole nations. And the costs can be visible and invisible.
There are effective programs to break this spiral. For adults, there are “food for work” programs where the adults are paid with food to build schools, dig wells, make roads, and so on. This both nourishes them and builds infrastructure to end the poverty. For children, there are “food for education” programs where the children are provided with food when they attend school. Their education will help them to escape from hunger and global poverty.
It takes the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to produce a pound of grain-fed beef in the United States. Some of the energy was used in the feedlot, or in transportation and cold storage, but most of it went to fertilizing the feed grain used to grow the modern steer or cow…. To provide the yearly average beef consumption of an American family of four requires over 260 gallons of fossil fuel.
—“Meat Equals War,” web-site of Earth Save, Humboldt, California