“In a world of 7 billion people and expanding, where malnutrition, hunger or outright famine are commonplace, it’s dumbfounding that Time magazine would take one of the great American success stories – the efficient agricultural production of an abundant variety of healthy, safe and affordable foods for consumers in the U.S. and throughout the world – and turn it into an unrecognizable story of exploitation, manipulation and greed,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a letter to the editor submitted to Time magazine about this week’s cover story, “America’s Food Crisis and How to Fix It.”
Boyle pointed out that the ingenuity, productivity and dedication of American livestock producers and meat and poultry processors provide American consumers with an astonishingly wide array of product choices, with numerous flavor options and nutritional profiles, at extremely reasonable price ranges. And despite this abundance, Americans spend less than any other developed nation in the world on meat and poultry products — about 1.7 percent of our incomes per year today down from over 4 percent in 1970.
“As Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug said, ‘You can't build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery.’ Before one dreams about the ‘good old days’ romanticizing about a return to peasant agricultural production practices, as Time magazine apparently does, we should remember that organic shoppers in well-to-do neighborhoods in our country are a much different marketing challenge and imperative than the 1 billion people around the world that the United Nations estimates are hungry,” Boyle noted.
Also put into question by Boyle was Time magazine’s lack of balance and one-sided reporting on an article that was prominently featured on the cover. Boyle concluded, “Just as Americans need to eat a balanced diet, they also need balanced information. Unfortunately, they won’t find it in Time magazine.”