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Hunger and the Global Environment


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Title: Hunger and the Global Environment

Hunger and the Global Environment
  • One person in every five worldwide experiences
    persistent hunger
  • Not the healthy appetite triggered by
    anticipation of a hearty meal
  • But the painful condition caused by a chronic
    lack of food
  • Tens of thousands die of starvation each day
  • One every two seconds

  • In the U.S. millions of children are hungry at
    least some of the time
  • Under the broad definition of food insecurity,
    over 13 million U.S. children do not know where
    their next meal is coming from or when it will

The Challenge to Change
  • Banishing food insecurity for all of the worlds
    citizens poses two major challenges
  • To provide enough food to meet the needs of
    earths expanding population
  • Without destroying natural resources needed to
    continue producing food
  • To ensure food security

Concerns for the future exist
  • Hunger
  • Poverty
  • Population growth
  • Millions of the worlds people are starving
  • Fifteen children die of malnutrition every 30
  • 125 children are born in that same 30 seconds
  • Every day, the earth gains another 220,000 new
    residents to feed, most of them born in
    impoverished areas

  • Loss of food-producing land
  • Food-producing land is becoming saltier, eroding,
    and being paved over
  • Each year, the worlds farmers try to feed some
    85 million additional people with 24 billion
    fewer tons of topsoil
  • This loss threatens overall food security

  • Atmosphere and climate changes, droughts, and
  • The concentration of carbon dioxide is now 26
    higher than 200 years ago
  • Climate changes cause droughts and floods that
    destroy crops and peoples homelands
  • Diseases such as malaria are expected to spread
    to other climate zones as they warm

  • Ozone loss from the outer atmosphere
  • Permitting harmful radiation from the sun to
  • Increases the likelihood of skin cancers and
    cataracts in people and animals and potentially
    may damage crops and ecosystems
  • Water shortages
  • Supplies of fresh water are dwindling and
    becoming polluted

  • Deforestation and desertification
  • Ocean pollution
  • Is killing fish in large dead zones along the
    worlds coasts
  • Overfishing is depleting the fish that remain

  • Extinctions of species
  • More than 140 species of animals and plants are
    becoming extinct each day
  • Another 20 are expected to die out in the next
    10 years

U.S. Food Programs
  • Childrens school lunch and breakfast programs
  • Child-care and elder-care programs
  • Programs to supply low-income pregnant women and
    mothers with nourishing food (WIC)
  • Food assistance programs for older adults
  • Congregate meals
  • Meals on Wheels

U.S. Food Programs
  • Food Stamp Program
  • Centerpiece of U.S. food programs for low-income
  • Administered by the U.S. Department of
    Agriculture (USDA)
  • Provides assistance to more than 20 million
    people at a cost of over 20 billion per year
  • Over half of the recipients are children

U.S. Food Programs
  • National food recovery programs have made a
    dramatic difference
  • Collecting wholesome surplus foods for
    distribution to low-income people who are hungry
  • The largest program, Second Harvest, coordinates
    the efforts of more than 250 food banks, food
    pantries, emergency kitchens, and homeless
  • Providing more than 1 billion pounds of food to
    45,000 local agencies that feed over 23 million
    people per year

U.S. Food Programs
  • Food banks
  • Facilities that collect and distribute food
    donations to authorized organizations feeding the
  • Food pantries
  • Community food collection programs that provide
    groceries to be prepared and eaten at home

U.S. Food Programs
  • Emergency kitchens
  • Programs that provide prepared meals to be eaten
    on site
  • Often called soup kitchens

What is the State of World Hunger?
  • One-fifth of the worlds 6 billion people have no
    land and no possessions at all
  • The poorest poor survive on less than one
    dollar a day each
  • They lack water that is safe to drink, and they
    cannot read or write

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  • Today, the worlds supply of grain, an index of
    the sufficiency of the world food supply, can
    still feed the world for several months
  • Wheat and corn, the staple foods of many nations,
    are abundant and now cost less than half as much
    as 40 years ago

  • The future may not be so bright
  • At its present rate of growth, the worlds
    population will soon outstrip the current rate of
    food production
  • The green revolution has passed
  • Old technology will not generate the greater crop
    yields needed to keep pace with the increasing
    numbers of people being born

Environmental Degradation
  • Soil Erosion
  • Affects agriculture in every nation
  • Deforestation of the worlds rain forests
    dramatically adds to land loss
  • Without the forest covering to hold the soil in
    place, it washes off the rocks beneath
  • Drastically reducing the lands productivity

  • Climate, Air, and Fresh Water
  • Air pollution and the resulting climate change
    reduce food outputs
  • Changes in climate are expected to result from a
    buildup of so-called greenhouse gases
  • Such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous
    oxide, and airborne particles
  • These pollutants are produced by human industry,
    agriculture, and transportation activities

  • A rise of only a degree or so in average global
    temperature may
  • reduce soil moisture,
  • impair pollination of major food crops such as
    rice and corn,
  • slow growth,
  • weaken crops resistance to disease,
  • and disrupt many other factors affecting crop

  • Dwindling supplies of fresh water are now
    limiting the numbers of people who can survive in
    some areas
  • Poor water management causes many of the worlds
    water problems
  • Each day, people dump 2 million tons of waste
    into the worlds rivers, lakes, and streams
  • As such pollution grows along with the
    population, vast quantities of the earths fresh
    water will be unusable by the year 2025 and 2 of
    every 3 persons on earth will live in
    water-stressed conditions

  • Overpopulation
  • The worlds population reached 6 billion in 1999
  • The rate of growth has begun to taper off
  • By 2033 the human population will exceed the
    earths estimated carrying capacity
  • The total number of living organisms that a given
    environment can support without deteriorating in
  • Overpopulation may be the most serious threat
    that humankind faces today

Moving toward Solutions
  • The poor nations need resources and the will to
  • make contraceptive technology and information
    more widely available,
  • educate their citizens,
  • assist the poor,
  • and adopt sustainable development practices that
    slow and reverse the destruction of their
    forests, waterways, and soil

Moving toward Solutions
  • The rich nations need to stem their wasteful and
    polluting uses of resources and energy
  • Which are contributing to global environmental

Protecting the Environment
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  • According to the United Nations, the ecological
    footprint - the productive land area needed to
    support a persons lifestyle - of each individual
    is 4x larger in an industrialized country than in
    a developing one

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  • Although many problems are global in scope, the
    actions of individual people lie at the heart of
    their solution