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India Blames US Gluttony For Food Crisis — Are They Right?

Researches at an independent research institute in India think they've solved the food crisis — hold on to your drumstick — they say the US's voracious appetites that is to blame. That if Americans slimmed down to the weight of middle-class Indians, “many hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa would find food on their plates.” The spokesman for the organization added pointedly that the amount of money spent in the United States on liposuction to get rid of fat from excess consumption could be better spent feeding famine victims.

The super-sized backlash on American consumption stems partially from remarks made by President Bush about India’s growing middle class and food prices. He said, “when you start getting wealth, you start demanding better nutrition and better food, and so demand is high, and that causes the price to go up.”

An editorial in India slammed these comments, saying Bush was trying to pass the food inflation buck to India, instead of where India thinks it properly belongs. Figures may show they're right. The United States uses — or throws away — 3,770 calories a person each day (according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) compared with 2,440 calories per person in India.

Is consumption to blame for the food crisis and grocery bill sticker-shock? Are factors like poor crops, climate change, biofuels, and fuel prices more to blame than the US liposuction habit? Is India making a fair point?

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