Recently, Condi Rice, who apparently thought her surname qualified her to weigh in, incensed Indians by implying that India and China are causing the food crisis because these days they can afford to eat better. Alongside this unsettling truth--vaguely reminiscent of Swift's Modest Proposal, but made in all seriousness--Condi could have made a fair number of equally useless observations on how America could solve the food crisis.
(1) By dieting.
Americans are too fat. We used to be pleasantly obese, a sign of our great wealth and relaxed lifestyles. Now we're just sick. If we're not grossly overweight--I'm talking bending the steel picnic table benches at Dairy Queen--then we're hooked up to our ipods and frenetically exercising, like Hamsters on one of those pointless wheels, to burn all the calories we consume. If everybody would stop eating so damn much, all this talk about the food crisis could stop.
(2) By eating less meat.
A cow eats a lot of grain before you slaughter it for its steaks. How does India feed 17 percent of the world's population with only 3 percent of its arable land (or whatever) and farms that are less than half as productive as America's? It's simple. They're vegetarians. And, even if they eat meat, they don't eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday the way Americans do. (Unless Condi is right).
(3) By cutting back on junk food.
How much flour can one person eat? Not very much, if every time you feel the need for wheat you have to get out a bag of the stuff and mix it up with water and yeast to make a loaf of bread. As far as I'm concerned, the food crisis should be blamed on the people at Nabisco, who make too many delicious cookies, snack cakes and crispy fried things. It makes it almost impossible for anybody to achieve point 1, even if they manage to achieve point 2.