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Eat is east

Trust US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to dish out something original about the current food crisis stalking the world.

india Updated: May 01, 2008 00:28 IST

Trust US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to dish out something original about the current food crisis stalking the world. She is of the opinion that since diets have improved in India and China, the world is facing a food crisis. Now, Ms Rice may well have bitten off more than she can chew. Knowing politically correct Condi, she probably did not mean that the Chinese and Indians must be denied their daily rice. Read between the courses, what she seems to have said is that since the average diet of Indians and Chinese, citizens of two of the fastest growing economies, are getting better, the countries are holding back their exports to feed their own population, leading to a global shortage of food.

Those less culinarily evolved like us must be forgiven for thinking that the Secretary of State was getting all peppery about us Orientals wolfing down resources, denying Yanks their daily excess of calories. Here may be Condi is doing us a good turn: by trying to take the food off our plates, she may actually stop us — at least, some of us — getting horizontally challenged. Scientific studies prove that a little hunger goes a long way in the longevity stakes. So, Chef Rice assures us that she is looking into it and making sure that we are not eating into the world’s precious resources.

But why should we hold back so that America can put a chicken in every pot? Given that the Chinese are snappy about any criticism, Ms Rice may wish she had let sleeping dragons lie. But let’s see if Condi’s veiled threat works. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.