Letters to the Editor
Readers write about food aid, carbon-neutral businesses, and truth in memoir.
The US needs to rethink its approach to food aid
In response to the May 7 article, "Is US doing enough to end food crisis?": The cash President Bush is offering to address the immediate food crisis will be welcomed in the recipient countries, but the United States needs to look beyond today's response and rethink its whole approach to food aid and trade. Using cash to buy food locally instead of sending surplus commodities is a start, but only that.
Because of the crushing burden of foreign debt, countries that could easily feed themselves are exporting food while their citizens go hungry. International agribusinesses are earning record profits as food riots rage. Global trade policies that prioritize profits over public welfare have emptied food reserves, which are now at their lowest levels worldwide since 1947. And those same policies restrict poor countries from protecting their domestic food production from foreign corporate control.
To address the roots of the food crisis, we must provide rural development aid instead of just food, forgive odious debts, control speculation and corporate malfeasance, and make food trade fair, not just "free."
Remember carbon costs of shipping
Regarding the May 7 article, "How green is that shirt?": In evaluating the "greenness" of a product, let's factor in energy use and carbon emissions attributable to transportation.
There's a significant environmental cost to moving raw materials to third-world countries for cheap labor, then shipping the finished product thousands of miles away to consumers willing to pay a premium for such goods.
Can memoirs ever be 'real'?
In response to the May 9 article, "Whose truth: veracity and the modern memoir": As a former senior-level editor at several publishing houses with a 25-year history in a constantly changing industry, I can say with at least some level of expertise that memoirs playing fast and loose with the unvarnished truth is nothing new.