The proportion of people in the world who are hungry has decreased dramatically over the past half century . But 1 in 7 people still do not have enough energy and protein in their diet . This is because food is unevenly distributed between regions , and about one third of all food produced is wasted . .
The global population is predicted to grow from 7.7 billion now , to around 9 billion people by 2050 . People are also becoming richer, and so buy more meat and dairy . For these reasons, it is predicted that we will need to produce 70-100% more food by 2050 . This is hard, especially considering effects of climate change : more drought, and spread of pests and diseases . .
It is estimated that by 2027 we could have too little food to feed everyone, with a calorie deficit of 214 trillion calories . That’s equivalent to needing 670 billion extra bowls of pasta ! .
This sounds like a global food crisis. Can we avoid it? There are 3 methods which could work together [1,3]: .
1) Change DIETS – people in richer countries need to eat less ! For example, about 52% of adults in the European Union are overweight . Excess food produced in wealthy countries should be exported to places that need it most – parts of Africa, India and China . .
2) Reduce food WASTE – through better infrastructure in poor countries, and less waste in homes in rich countries . .
3) Improve food PRODUCTION – this perhaps has the most potential . The most improvement is needed in Africa and India . Yields can be increased by e.g. breeding and genetic modification of crops, efficient use of chemicals and water, and natural pest and disease control [5,6]. Economic growth, and access to more free trade can also help [1,3,5]. If this is done effectively on a huge scale, then we should be able to avoid a global food crisis . .
If we do not make farming in Africa and India more efficient, then the demand for food in these areas will be met by importing food from other places, particularly South America . This, in turn, will cause more deforestation .
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