World Food Day and World Hunger Day

Today the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) invites us to participate in World Food Day. The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) isn’t very impressed, declaring World Hunger Day.

Morgane Danielou at Global Food Security gives us thoughtful commentary on today’s events. Several of my fellow bloggers made interesting comments to my post about food shortage. I’m grateful to petrel41 for alerting me on that thread to what the APC is doing.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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6 Responses to World Food Day and World Hunger Day

  1. EqFe says:

    There are a tremendous number of heartrending results of world hungry. One aspect which is usually shouted down, as blaming the victim, is over population. Continuing to reproduce when one already has more children than they can adequately feed certainly ensures that that particular family will continue to face humger. China’s single child policy has been criticised by a host of international groups, and the Bush Administration, and had resulted in young men outnumber in young women by 40 million. But it has also virtually eliminated hunger in that nature.

    • argylesock says:

      I don’t entirely agree with you here. I don’t find that overpopulation is dismissed as victim-blaming.

      I’ve heard (from the UN Ambassador for Global Food Security, who I’m honoured to know) and read (in various places) that overpopulation is quite well understood. Apparently, families get larger when infant mortality is high and when people don’t expect to be cared for in old age. When your kids keep dying, and you expect that any surviving kids will be the only people to shelter and feed you in old age (if you live that long), you breed. Disempowered women breed, also, because they’re denied options for choosing how many kids to have.

      Then as people become more prosperous, the demographic transition happens http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition

  2. EqFe says:

    “Apparently, families get larger when infant mortality is high and when people don’t expect to be cared for in old age. When your kids keep dying, and you expect that any surviving kids will be the only people to shelter and feed you in old age (if you live that long), you breed. ” Oh I read that quite often, but I guess my point is that if you keep breeding, when you can’t feed your kids, you ensure that more of you kids will starve to death. It’s a cruel arithmatic to begin with have a large brood knowing that some will starve, but in a way it’s a flawed arithmatic as well.

    • argylesock says:

      Sfaik the main causes of infant mortality aren’t simple starvation. More infectious diseases eg malaria and viral diarrhoea. So I think you’re oversimplifying and perhaps blaming people who are victimised by their circumstances. But of course, I don’t want to pick a fight with you.

      • eqfe says:

        I’m probably reacting more to local campaigns to provide aid to Guatemala, which has the third highest rate of child stunted growth do to lack of food. These adds tell family stories where the older children haven’t eaten in days, and the baby is dying. I can’t help but ask, from a personal perspective why the parents had a baby in these circumstances. But I think that most people would say that I’m blaming the victim, as I said in my first comment, so absolutely no fight.

  3. Pingback: Climate and food | Science on the Land

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