Food Issue

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Food Issue: Question/Answers

Food Issue: Question/Answers

What is the food crisis described in the article?

Complicating matters is the fact that the price and abundance of food are not the only problems we face; if they were, you could simply follow Nixon's example, appoint a latter-day Earl Butz as your secretary of agriculture and instruct him or her to do whatever it takes to boost production.

In addition to the problems of climate change and America's oil addiction, you have spoken at length on the campaign trail of the health care crisis. (World Health Organization, 2006)

How are agricultural practices affecting health?

Spending on health care has risen from 5 percent of national income in 1960 to 16 percent today, putting a significant drag on the economy. The goal of ensuring the health of all Americans depends on getting those costs under control. There are several reasons health care has gotten so expensive, but one of the biggest, and perhaps most tractable, is the cost to the system of preventable chronic diseases. Four of the top 10 killers in America today are chronic diseases linked to diet: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Agricultural practices have increasingly facilitated the development of these outbreaks. Since many foods are consumed raw, once a food product has been contaminated during the agricultural process, an outbreak may be inevitable. Global improvements to surveillance of agricultural field practices and better protection of agricultural workers can help to decrease the health-related costs associated with outbreaks worldwide. Viruses and bacteria are becoming persistent and pervasive, and as the world continues to grow more interconnected, risk of exposure or infection increases. While many agricultural goods are imported, the U.S. is also a major producer of agricultural products worldwide (U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2007). Greater attention to patterns of foodborne incidence ...
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