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?

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

  1. torres Says:

    If the population is 30,000,000, doesn’t the 0.35% imply that the 60,000 Metric Tons represents the food of 105,000 Venezuelans?

  2. moctavio Says:

    Is not 30 yet I used 26 mm. at 30 mm it would be 2 kilos, 4.4 pounds per person 1,257 pounds per person, still way up there. The way you are looking at it tells you little, people have to eat something.

  3. Concerned Says:

    So the 100 tons at Polar are meaningless as well. People have got to stand up to this idiot. It does matter! To argue that the amount is meaningless is an insult to all Venezuelans!

    I am amazed that nothing seems to faze a bad leader. But let this happen to a good leader and it would be devastating.

    I can not wait to see this guy in jail for what he has done to my country. I just hope I can live that long. Look at Cuba and we know things can get much worse.

  4. loroferoz Says:

    The sane way to proceed with numbers cited by members of this socialist government, and particularly Chavez is reductio ad absurdum. Glad you did that.

    But the quantities are unimportant not because they are absurd. This happens in a country where Hugo Chavez accuses and threatens people and businesses for speculating, hoarding, and maybe dumping food to the sea. A country where there is malnutrition and scarcity, so much that people pay double to get at the foodstuffs that were lost.

    Letting food go bad (or losing it in any other way) is something that no sane businessman or merchant would do. Much less, if there are storage fees for every day your wares sit at a port. One way or the other, it must be sold, and somebody must buy it, if there is going to be somebody making a living selling it. Even at cost or at a loss if you cannot help it!

    It would only happen that you dump your wares if it is not even worth transporting to the retailers. And that would mean that they are dirt cheap. Not the case in Venezuela.

    Enter socialism, to see food rotting for no reason at all. And paying storage premiums all the way too.

    Just to illustrate the sheer idiocy of the socialist discourse of not making basic foodstuffs a commodity. They are commodities because people value them, pay for them, need them.

    Maybe they meant that they, of all people, can regard something that cost work to produce and money to buy as not valuable, in the most practical of manners.

  5. HalfEmpty Says:

    9.19% left to rot !!

    Worisome. Hell, beyond worrisome, that’s scary. 9.19% is is not counting other friction in the distribution lines.

  6. torres Says:

    The amount of food that feeds 91,000 persons eat in a year is a concept easier to grasp for me. Saying that the amount is insignificant, is tantamount to saying that it’s no skin off of anyone’s nose to share the food of the rest of the population to feed those 91,000 persons. This hits a more sensitive nerve in me than talking about a reduced amount of pounds per person per year, unless we can translate those pounds to a number of people falling below a nutritional minimum level.

  7. Floyd Looney Says:

    100 tons in a climate controlled warehouse is a national scandal but 60,000 rotting tons of food is trivial and nothing to worry about?

    Imagine the private sector. You import food that you have paid for, you also pay for shipping it. Do you really think a private business person would let it sit on the dock until it rots? Of course not, the financial incentive says to get it to the warehouse and the shops as soon as possible.

    Since government doesn’t have that kind of incentive, it doesn’t care.

  8. Roy Says:

    In another example of Bolivarian Spin, I read another article that was published in El Universal in which one of the Chavista officials explained that the amount of food lost only represented 1% of the total distributed by PDVAL in their seven years of operation, it wasn’t “noticeable”.

    Of course, that would mean that the loss represents 7% of their annual distribution, which certainly IS “noticeable”. And that was before the other 1,000+ containers were discovered. Imagine the reaction of the shareholders of ANY publicly held company, were such to be discovered about their business!

  9. m_astera Says:

    What I find interesting about the dismissal of its importance, the food I mean, is that that is the final tactic that I have observed people using when they have totally lost an argument; when they have been shown to be completely wrong or misinformed and have no ammunition left to argue with.

    They say “well, it’s not important anyway”.

  10. Roger Says:

    For the record Venezuela has no shortage of Dollar a Day Poor. http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/country/home/tags/venezuela
    Food for them is a big issue. People die from lack of it, even in Venezuela. Also, inflation and the job market keep sending more and more to extreme poverty. His response to this is a snub to what were his most loyal supporters.

  11. concerned (1st) Says:

    These bastards will lie when the truth sounds better. Zero morals and even less accountability. When you control all of the media and the average chavista doesn’t know the difference between 1% and 7%, you can say pretty much anything you want…And if you say it enough, you may even believe it yourself.

  12. Lemmy Caution Says:

    Sad for Venezuela, but the best argument against communism is a Government that declares itself on its way towards such.


  13. Sad for Venezuela, but the best argument against communism is a Government that declares itself on its way towards such.
    BTW I love your blog!

  14. Kepler Says:

    Lemmy, I disagree here. I think less than 20% of Venezuelans – to put a high figure – want communism and yet close to 45% may still vote for Hugo.

    45% + CNE = 60%. Hugo does not need 91% as Lukashenko. 60% would do.

    I won’t go here into why Venezuelans can’t see it, but this has happened for a long time. The simple fact Venezuelans could vote for a coup monger who was praising a dictator as Pérez Jiménez is very telling to me.

    Chávez has been declaring very clearly since 2005 that he is a communist and since 2006 that he is a Maoist, a Trotskyist, a Leninist and since at least last year a Marxist.

    We know what Karl Marx wrote about Bolívar: the biggest scoundrel (among other not so very nice things). And yet we have here
    a movement where thousands call themselves “Bolivarian marxists”, including some that are supposed to be the Chavista “intelligentsia” like Luis Britto Garcia.

    So: the ghost of communism won’t deter this movement. Besides: this goes over communism. This is more like Mugabism or something like that, with very uneducated milicos being in control and all (that was not the case in the early stages of communism in Russia, not even the case in China with former librarian Mao)

  15. Robert Says:

    Chavez buying more jets and refrigerators from China this year:

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9G667S84.htm

    I understand the appliances as it’s an election year but what’s up with the jets?

  16. Kepler Says:

    Roberto,

    I don’t know, but it may be some Venezuelan military got a nice Chinese present and he went to daddy Chavez to push for it. Or it could be a part of the conditions we got for the billions in “loans” the Chinese gave two months ago.
    Mind: the situation right now may be far worse than before, but
    in general that is the way wealthier countries react with underdeveloped countries, specially when ruled by a corrupt, incompetent elite , as we have had since day 1:
    we give you X millions in aid, but you, Venezuelans, have to buy so many millions in Siemens machines and BMW cars, we give you so many millions as oan but you, Congolese, have to open your diamond/cobalt mines to us (US American/French) first and buy our Citroën/Ford for your politicians.

  17. concerned Says:

    The loan in Yen is burning a hole in his pocket…He’s got to buy something. The appliances were popular for distribution in the last elections as it is real and visual. The cash and rum are quickly used and forgotten. The only difference this time around is there is not much food to put in the refrigerators and the electricity is not stable enough to keep it cool anyway. They should also import extra surge protectors to go with them or they will be reduced to a pile of scrap in six months time.


  18. [...] If the 60,000 Tons of rotten food is so little, how come there is hunger and malnutrition in Venezue… [...]

  19. Robert Says:

    Chavez has no shame. He can leave 60,000 tons of food to rot and then on Sunday declare to Mendoza at Polar no dollars for him and if he needs corn he will have to buy it from the government.

    This would be funny if it weren’t so crazy. Chavez must really have a hard on for Mendoza and must be terrified of him actually running for president. So the gov stops the dollar market which I always believed was a ploy to control who gets dollars, i.e., make it political, and now will use that to put the last nail in the Polar coffin.

  20. island canuck Says:

    I love Mondays.

    All the crap from yesterday’s Alo Idiotas & other official announcements spews forth in the morning news.

    Some samples:
    Diputado Sanguino descarta disminución de la actividad económica en el país

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2010/06/diputado-sanguino-descarta-disminucion-de-la-actividad-economica-en-el-pais/

    No comment necessary. What an idiot!

    Chávez: La oligarquía tiene culillo

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2010/06/chavez-la-oligarquia-tiene-culillo/

    “The oligarchs are afraid.”

    Yeah, I wonder why?

    Maybe because of this:
    Chávez ordenó expropiación de 9 comercios por especulación

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2010/06/chavez-ordeno-expropiacion-de-9-comercios-por-especulacion/

    “Chavez orders expropriation of 9 businesses for speculation”

    And finally from Gustavo Coronel:
    QUIEBRAN EMPRESAS DEL ALUMINIO EN GUAYANA: OTRO IMPRESIONANTE LOGRO DE LA REVOLUCIÓN.

    http://lasarmasdecoronel.blogspot.com/

    It costs them US$3700 to make 1 ton of aluminum which they can sell on the international market for US$2000.

    The labor cost for each ton is 3 times higher here than in the USA.

  21. A_Antonio Says:

    Begin to appear in the newspaper news about cargos of medicines expired forgotten in warehouses, looks like it is not only food.

  22. concerned Says:

    With food and medicine receiving the preferential cadivi rate and priority, it makes sense that these would be the exploited items. The money was made through the currency exchange, not the sale of the items.

  23. Roger Says:

    Well the “turning lead into gold thing” seems to be getting exposed http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100607/ap_on_bi_ge/lt_venezuela_currency_controls
    I was just thinking: Somebody should make a Mozilla toolbar so we can watch all this go down the tubes.


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