RALEIGH, North Carolina — None, actually. The world produces enough food to feed the entire population. However, one in eight people go to sleep hungry each night. Why is that?
More than a billion tons of the food produced in the world is not consumed. Eliminating food waste provides an opportunity to feed the world’s hungry and improve global food security.
20% of People Consume 80% of the Energy
There are about 842 million people in the world who do not have enough to eat. The majority of those people, about 827 million, live in developing countries. The wealthiest 20% of the world consume almost 80% of the world’s energy, including food and water. The poorest 20% consume 1.5% of the world’s energy.
The United States Consumes More Than Any Other Country
Americans make up 5% of the world’s population and consume almost a quarter of the world’s energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis or 307 Ethiopians.
$3.2 Billion Can Save 66 Million Children per Year
In the developing world, 66 million children attend school on a hungry stomach. The World Food Programme estimates that it would take $3.2 billion per year to reach all of those children. Hungry children have trouble focusing in school and therefore have less promising futures. Eliminating food insecurity in children will help them become self-sustaining, contributing members of their communities.
Women Are Part of the Solution
The problem is not only reallocating the world’s food supply, but also to help developing countries increase their sustainable food production. Women are the world’s primary food producers; however, those women who are malnourished or underweight often give birth to underweight babies, as 17 million children are born underweight each year.
Rural Farmers Face Extreme Vulnerability
Farmers in developing countries also struggle with arable land. A family who depends on farming for its livelihood can be devastated by natural disasters like droughts or floods. Many of these farmers live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their food and income, making them vulnerable to crises.
Research by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization shows that investments in agriculture are five times more effective in reducing poverty than investments in any other sector.