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Perspective: World hunger requires a big shift in American agriculture

Marcus Winkler

It’s time for a wholesale rethinking – and restructuring – of agricultural policy in the United States.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, between 720 and 811 million people worldwide faced hunger during 2020. Beyond hunger, nearly one in three people across the globe did not have access to adequate food.

Bloomberg reports that 41% of agricultural land in the contiguous United States is used for grazing and animal feed. About one-third of corn production goes to ethanol for blending into gasoline.

I believe that we now should shift much of our animal feed and ethanol production to direct human needs – grains, legumes, and oilseeds in particular.

We have exceptional cropland. We have outstanding farmers who regularly produce bountiful harvests. So let us now turn our talents to feeding more of the world. There is no higher calling.

Scott Summers is a McHenry County attorney. His blog SummersTimes is at ssummers.substack.com.