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FOOD SECURITY – World grain production plateauing – Time to Go Vegan

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According to an article on Trust.org, for the last decade and a half, a mysterious and worrisome trend has emerged in the farming world that has sent farmers, scientists and policy makers looking for answers. Crop yields – how much of a crop is harvested per hectare – for some of the world’s major grains like rice, wheat and corn have gone from increasing year after year to plateauing in many of the world’s biggest grain producers. GROWING ARTIFICIAL DEMAND The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicted in 2009 that a growing and increasingly affluent population will require 70 percent more food by 2050, but Ken Cassman, Robert B. Daughtery, professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says, “If we meet demand by expanding agriculture, that’s the worst thing you can do for climate change and biodiversity.” The effects of upping grain production by expansion in rainforests and on prairies has devastated the world eco-system. What most people don’t realize, however, is that much of this grain expansion is fuelled by the need to feed grain-fed animals on feedlots. “If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” claims David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Today, the 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. To demonstrate how grossly inefficient this model is, according to the article quoted above, each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce a scanty 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. That is like paying $6 for a $1 return on […]

World Food Day – How about a new perspective?

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme. Background The World Food Day theme for 2012 is “Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world”. World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO’s Member Countries at the Organization’s 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger. Despite the enormous efforts centred around World Food Day, with an aim to raise awareness of food security, amazingly, solving world hunger and creating food security seem to an elusive goal. Mortality According to Jean Ziegler(the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food for 2000 to March 2008), mortality due to malnutrition accounted for 58 percent of the total mortality in 2006: “In the world, approximately 62 million people, all causes of death combined, die each year. One in twelve people worldwide is malnourished and according to the Save the Children 2012 report, one in four of the world’s children are chronically malnourished.[115] In 2006, more than 36 million died of hunger or diseases due to deficiencies in micronutrients”.[116] According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is the biggest contributor to child mortality, present in half of all cases.[117] Six million children die of hunger every year.[118] Underweight births and intrauterine growth restrictions cause 2.2 million child deaths […]