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Roger Thurow on Food Security

Roger Thurow, senior fellow for the Center on Global Food and Agriculture, takes a minute to discuss how COVID-19 has affected food security.
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How has COVID-19 affected food security? 

What we’re seeing, very quickly, is how this health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, how quickly that health crisis has become a food crisis. Around the world! But that it’s also become a food crisis here in the United States as well, I think, is shocking to a lot of people. 

Why is hunger an ignored issue in the United States? 

Because frankly we choose to ignore it. It’s an affront to us! We have this vision of ourselves that there’s this eternal and everlasting abundance, “We’re the world’s breadbasket, we feed the world.” And now see, “Wait a minute, we can’t even feed ourselves!” and adequately provide nutrition for all the residents of the United States, which is what’s underlying these long lines that we’re seeing at the food banks and the food pantries. But the truth of it is those lines were always there. 

What gives you hope? 

What gives me hope is that now we see this, so that we have the recognition of this, and particularity say hunger in America that it won’t be ignored and shunted to the side. This need is always there. Now we realize that, we see it even more clearly, we’ve always should’ve seen it, but hopefully this really brings it to the fore. 

About the Expert
Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture
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Roger Thurow spent three decades at The Wall Street Journal as foreign correspondent based in Europe and Africa prior to joining the Council in 2010. His coverage spanned the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, and humanitarian crises. He is the author of three books.
Headshot for Roger Thurow