Archive for June 6th, 2010

If the 60,000 Tons of rotten food is so little, how come there is hunger and malnutrition in Venezuela?

June 6, 2010

(The putrid leaders are still alive and well…)

I like numbers. I was educated to believe that anything and everything can be understood if you can reduce it to numbers. Thus, I decided to look at the numbers of the foodstuffs found in a state of putrefaction and ask a very simple question: is this irrelevant in the size of imports to Venezuela or is this a significant amount?

According to Chavez, this is 1% of what the Government imports in food. This means that if we assume that the Government imports these days half of the food and the private sector the other half, then the 60,000 Tons (70,000 Tons according to other sources) represent 0.5% of all imported food. Of course, Venezuela also produces some food. Let’s say it’s not too much. Assume 70% of all food we eat is imported, then the rotten food is 0.35% of all the food Venezuelans eat every year. The Minister for Feeding dismissed the importance of this amount of food rotting, as did President Chavez.

Well, 60,000 Metric Tons is 60 million kilos or 2.3 Kilos per inhabitant of Venezuela. If this is 0.35% of all food consumed in Venezuela then Venezuelans eat 657 Kilos of food per year. In pounds, this is about 1,440 pounds per person per year.

According to various calculations I have seen, world food consumption varies from about 500 pounds per year per person to 1,700 pounds per year per person in the US. The 1,440 pounds then would put Venezuelans among the best fed people in the world.(Recall I underestimated, there are reportedly 70,000 Tons so far, there may be more and I exaggerated the estimate for imports)

Which suggests the ever present shortages of food in the stores, hunger, malnutrition and poverty are a thing of the past in our country.

But are they?