The Washington Post

Slow the looming famine

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The May 1 editorial “The world’s next challenge” ended by stating that “the United States and other major world powers have the ability to prevent a global famine.” Overlooked in the editorial was the fact that the public also has the ability to move decisively to prevent the famine and simultaneo­usly reverse a second problem discussed in the May 1 front-page article “U.S. taste for beef helps fuel Amazon’s ruin”: the destructio­n of the Brazilian rainforest.

The Amazon rainforest is being cleared for pasture because of our appetite for beef, which requires more land than the production of grains for direct human consumptio­n. Both problems could be fixed (and provide an improvemen­t to public health) if enough people cut back or eliminated beef from their diet. All three problems could easily be solved by eliminatin­g or reducing beef consumptio­n. Yes, the United States could prevent the famine, and so, too, can the combined actions of people who care.

Silver Spring

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