Monday, April 12, 2021

World Hunger Can Be Avoided


Acute hunger will increase in over 20 countries if the global community does not take action soon, the United Nations said in a report by the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Around the world, 34 million people already suffer from extreme malnutrition, which means they are close to dying from starvation.

"We are seeing a catastrophe unfold before our very eyes. Famine — driven by conflict, and fueled by climate shocks and the COVID-19 hunger pandemic — is knocking on the door for millions of families," said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

 The editorial of Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (USA) commented on a study from McGill University and the University of Minnesota published in the journal Nature:

“Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. Over the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the world produces more than 1 1/2 times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That’s already enough to feed 10 billion people, the world’s 2050 projected population peak. But the people making less than two dollars a day – most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating un-viably small plots of land – cannot afford to buy this food. In reality, the bulk of industrially produced grain crops go to biofuels and confined animal feedlots rather than food of the one billion hungry. The call to double food production by 2050 only applies if we continue to prioritize the growing population of livestock and automobiles over hungry people.”

It is one of many similar studies from universities, research centers and organizations on humans and the environment all over the world. Understandably, the scientific truth on food is incompatible with the nature of the capitalist system, in which choices and priorities are determined by profit maximization and not by the real needs of the people.

Multinational corporations do not  see food not as a necessity for all people, but as a means to increase their profitability and increase their shareholders’ dividends. The food companies exploit crops as merchandise, as fuel for cars. Also, along the capitalist logic, only those who can afford to pay have access to food and, in fact, with prices that the capitalist market sets. So whoever does not have enough money to buy food is indifferent to the capitalist provider, indifferent to the politician who believes in the same system, capitalism, and protects it.

 In addition to the conversion of food into diesel and other lucrative livestock feed, the world consumes much larger quantities of food per capita with people even harming their own health from  sugar and fat from the greed that huge advertising marketing campaigns have imbued within them, and accordingly throws away as garbage huge quantities corresponding to about 30% of world food produced. People in the western world consume quantities and calories well above nutritionally recommended levels. As a result, the percentage of overweight tends to exceed the percentage of people with normal weight. If we take into account that, for example in the USA, which is on top of the world in food consumption and obesity rates, the percentage of overweight, even from childhood, is of the order of 36.20%! Also high in the ranking are Great Britain with a percentage of 27.80%, Germany 22.30%, France 21.60% and Italy 19.90%, but also Greece with 24.90%.

According to the World Health Organization, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Worldwide, over two billion people are estimated to be overweight, one third of whom are obese. Obesity-related deaths in the United States alone number about 300,000 a year with the main causes from obesity, being heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

One third of the food does not end up in the bellies of the hungry, but in garbage cans and landfills. In Germany alone, which is one of the most organized countries and the issue of waste is open and discussed, 15 million tons of food are thrown away every year. And of these, according to experts, 9 million could be saved and distributed properly. The same is true everywhere.

There is another very serious reason to reduce waste and better redistribute food. The perverse way of managing food from the design, production, processing, transportation, sale and consumption, all of which are basically run and determined by the metropolises of capitalism and multinational corporations, has frighteningly negative consequences for the environment, climate change and the overall survival of every living organism, including humans. Huge quantities of drinking water are wasted, seas, rivers, lakes and groundwater are polluted, forests are cleared to spread crops and the atmosphere is polluted by carbon dioxide produced in the process of production, processing and transport of food, etc.

This is the normal function of capitalism.

Adapted from here

Humanity Will Not be Saved by Vaccines. "Hunger is Caused by Poverty and Inequality" - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

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