It is very shocking to read that enough food is produced in the world to feed the entire population, yet 1 billion people are undernourished or suffer from chronic malnutrition, because they don’t have access to enough nutritious food. One of the reasons for this is that many poor can’t afford to buy sufficient amounts of food. “… about half of the world’s people are trying to survive on the equivalent of $2.25 a day and one out of six people struggle to get by on $1.25 a day.” Another reason is that a lot of food, mostly grain, is used to produce meat or biofuel and 1/3 is simply wasted, instead of being available for humans to eat. People living in poorer countries can often times only afford to buy different kinds of grains and therefore don’t have access to a variety of nutritious foods, which would be important for a healthy diet.
While 1 billion people suffer from undernourishment, 1.6 billion people are eating too much and are overweight. In many developed countries, the cheapest food is fast food, which is high in sugar, salt and fats and therefore not healthy. Both underfed and overweight people suffer from similar health problems. Key nutrients are missing in their diet, so both groups have a lower life expectancy and are more prone to diseases.
Many people are not aware where their food comes from and what the actual cost of producing it is. Food production is more and more industrialized and produces less varieties. Sadly, the goal of food production nowadays is to increase the yield year by year, by using heavy equipment, inorganic fertilizers and large amounts of water and fossil fuels, which is highly inefficient and unsustainable.
When we buy food which is not organic and locally produced, we don’t pay the cost of the pollution to the environment it causes and for the transportation. We oftentimes assume that the cheapest available item is always the best, but this is actually not true if you think about the environment.
Miller, G. Tyler. Spoolman, Scott E. Environmental Science 15th Edition. 2016. Print