The ethics of food distribution.

Endangered Species, by James M. Dunn, Ben Loring, Jr., and Phil Strickland (Broadman, 1976, 153pp., $2.50pb); Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, by Ronald J. Sider (InterVarsity, 1977, 249 pp., $4.95 pb); Stones into Bread?, by Owen D. Owens (Judson, 1977, 124 pp., $3.95 pb); Peace on Earth Handbook, by Loren E. Halvorson (Augsburg, 1976, 128 pp., $3.50 pb); Christian Responsibility in a Hungry World, by C. Dean Fruedenberger and Paul M. Minus (Abingdon, 1976, 127 pp., $2.50 pb); Finite Resources and the Human Future, edited by Ian G. Barbour (Augsburg, 1976, 192 pp., $4.75 pb).

A “grin and Bear It” cartoon that appeared in many newspapers last October shows a grocer ringing up the price of a loaf of bread for a woman at the checkout counter. Apparently answering her complaint about price, he says, “It’s simple economics, madam … Wheat goes up, bread goes up. Wheat comes down, bread stays up.”

American consumers feel the pinch of that marketing reality. But what we feel is nothing compared to what one-and-a-half billion other “consumers” (mostly would-be consumers) experience. In January The New York Times carried this report from Rome:

“The world’s major food agency has just completed a lengthy self-examination and come up with a gloomy conclusion on the way its war against hunger is going. The agency, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, is confident that it is using the best possible methods to combat starvation among the world’s poor. But the F.A.O.’s three-week biennial conference ended here with warnings that little or no progress had been made in the last three years toward eradicating hunger and malnutrition.”

For more details on the evidence on which reports like those ...

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