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					                               Feeding the Planet

   The amount of food available to feed the planet’s growing population is a good
    news/bad news situation
   The good news is that we are now more efficient at feeding the world’s
    population today than ever before
   The food supply has risen dramatically over the past four decades due to
    agricultural science
   Scientific research has produced stronger seeds and plants which enable us to
    improve the environments with which they will grow
   The movement of food around the world has reached record levels as
    governments trade their surplus amounts with one another
   Giant transporter airplanes, efficient non-government organizations and advanced
    storage systems help us to cope with emergencies
   The bad news however continues to developed:
        o The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
            estimates that 15 000 children die each day from poor nutrition
        o The United Nations estimates that approximately 850 million people do
            not receive adequate food supplies daily
        o The vast improvements we have made in food production are beginning to
            lose their effectiveness
        o The chemicals we use in soil are causing a lower return in food production
            than they did in previous years
        o The amount of available cropland in the world will fall from 0.23 hectares
            per person in 2001, to 0.13 hectares per person in 2050
        o The cropland we use has suffered in quality because of erosion and soli
            degradation.

   Over the next three decades, we will face an additional 3 billion mouths to feed

Chronic Persistent Hunger and Famine
 Chronic Persistent Hunger (CPH) is the most pressing food issue in the world
   today
 CPH may be caused by:
      o under nutrition – a condition which results from not getting enough food
         to eat. A person who is undernourished becomes too weak to resist
         common diseases and thus may die from the measles or diarrhea.
      o Malnutrition – results from a poorly balanced diet, where people do not
         get enough specific nutrients such as proteins, minerals, vitamins and
         carbohydrates. Eventually, these deficiencies cause the body to become
         prone to common diseases which may result in death.

   Millions of people –especially children under the age of five – suffer from the
    consequences of chronic persistent hunger
   Nine out of ten people who die from a hunger-related disease die from
    malnutrition or gradual under nututrition
       CPH is the leading cause of death in the countries where infant mortality is high
       The UN estimates that more than 13 million children die each year because of
        CPH
       Famine, as depicted on television and in the media is dramatic, yet famine
        actually only accounts for one-tenth of all hunger-related deaths
       Famine is a condition of rapid and severe under nutrition, where food shortages
        occur because of an inability to grow or collect food
       Famine is often caused by rapid changes in an area’s quality of soil, due to lack
        of rainfall
       Famine sufferers often attempt to migrate to areas where help is available, but
        this is often difficult because they are weak from lack of nourishment
       Both types of starvation – CPH and famine – are tragic
       As a global community, we are able to move emergency food aid into a famine
        situation quite efficiently, but the CPH is a far more difficult issue to remedy

On the Flip Side – Obesity: A malnutrition condition

Nearly one in three children in the developing world is underweight. According to the
Worldwatch Institute, 55 percent of the population of the USA is overweight and 26
percent is considered obese (a malnutrition condition that can lead to heart disease and
diabetes). The number of overweight people in developed nations is quickly on the rise.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, “both developed and developing nations are
paying a high price for malnutrition.” The World Bank estimates that…”obesity cost
the United States 12 percent of the national healthcare budget in the late 2990s - $118
billion – more than double the $47 billion attributed to smoking.”

				
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posted:12/7/2009
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