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Can the World Feed Itself Today?

Touch the Soil News #502

Can the world feed itself in the future? The world is full of theorists who theoretically prove that the planet can feed 9 billion people. However, are we asking the wrong question? A more appropriate question is whether the world can feed itself today – never mind the future.

A new report (the Foresight Report on Food Systems and Diets) from a special United Nations committee focuses on where we are today. In short, forget tomorrow, the challenges are here today.

Here are some of the highlights coming out of the report:

  1. Three (3) billion people (40 percent of the world’s peoples) have diets that are nutritionally inadequate. The world today is mired in a severe nutrition crisis.
  2. On fourth (1/4) of all children under the age of five (5) are stunted from inadequate access to nutritious food. Note: The world has 650 million children under age five which translates into 162 million children whose development is stunted due to malnutrition.
  3. More than 2 billion people suffer from insufficient micronutrients – leading to obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
  4. Of the 16,000 children that die prematurely every day, 45 percent die from malnutrition.
  5. Malnutrition is putting a serious drag on economic output (productivity) around the globe.
  6. Malnutrition has the potential to overwhelm global health-care resources.
  7. Today’s food systems are too focused on quantity and not quality, leaving an insufficient opportunity for consumers to acquire affordable and nutritious food.
  8. Global agriculture (industrial agriculture) must be reshaped in ways that will advance the goal of healthier diets for all.

The report infers that today’s industrial/corporate food system almost totally misses the target when it comes to adequate nutrition.

The report is rich with insights and grapples meaningfully with the whole spectrum of food problems. You can get a copy of the 133-page report at:  Following is a short video by some of the scientists participating in this special U.N. report:

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