A newly released report by the United Nations takes a strong stance against the use of industrial agrochemicals, saying that they are not necessary for feeding the world. The continued use of pesticides at the rate the world currently does in fact can have very detrimental consequences.
There are predictions that the world’s population could reach 10 billion by the year 2050. Whether population growth can be slowed down enough to prevent this remains to be seen. Regardless, it is clear that we need to figure out how to feed many more people than we have today and we are not even doing that good a job of feeding the current population.
We have talked quite a bit about food waste and in particular its impact on world hunger and on the economy. The world wastes more than $750 billion worth of food each year and 1.6 billion tons of food is left in fields, sent to landfills or scattered about the landscape. Another 7 million tons of fishery discards are dumped in the sea.
A food desert is a geographic area – often an urban area – where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to an automobile. Food deserts disproportionately affect occupants of poor, low-income neighborhoods where there are often no groceries stores or farmer’s markets. These are places were food comes from convenience stores or fast-food chains. More than 20 million Americans are thought to live in food deserts.
Yesterday we talked about the fact that Americans throw out nearly half of the food they buy. The worst thing about this is that one in seven Americans – over 46 million people – don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
We recently talked about the problem of food waste on this program, in particular, the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted around the world each year. This is a tragic situation given how many people around the world don’t have enough to eat.