Volume 45, Issue 4: July/August 2011
We might have hoped that by the 21st century hunger would be a scourge of the past. But the problem is actually worse now than it was a decade ago. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that one in seven people on the planet are undernourished. Most of those 925 million souls live in the Global South, where food prices have soared in recent years due to speculation, high oil prices, extreme weather, corporate control of the food system, and the increasing diversion of cereals to livestock and bio-fuel production. People do not go hungry because there is not enough food in the world; they go hungry because they are poor. But the deadly combination of population growth, desertification and accelerating climate change could change that sooner than anyone cares to imagine.
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