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    Quotables: The Gift of Good Land

    August 20, 2009 by Brandy Vencel


    The Gift of Good Land:
    Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural

    The United States subsidizes the transport of wheat to Peru in order to get rid of its surplus. This drives down the price of Peruvian wheat. Peruvian wheat growers, as a result, now grow barley, which they sell to brewers for the making of beer. This is the result of Public Law 480, Food for Peace, which provides “cheap food for hungry countries,” but can seriously disrupt local production. Which is paradox number two: charity to a hungry country makes it dependent on foreign imports for bread, but makes it independent in the production of beer.

    –Wendell Berry, An Agricultural Journey in Peru {1979}

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