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Food Explanation

Food is a basic necessity. Those who are fortunate try to eat three square meals a day; however, over 840 million people around the world go hungry every day. And more than half a billion people are undernourished. They do not get enough vitamins and minerals from the food that they eat to stay healthy. Hunger also kills. Every day 34,000 children under age five die from hunger and related causes. Why are so many people going hungry?

One of the main causes of hunger is poverty. Most of the people who are hungry do not have enough money to purchase the food they need. The poorest and most food-insecure people live in Africa, while the largest number of continually undernourished people live in the Asia-Pacific region. However, hunger remains especially severe in South Asia, where growing poverty, debt, economic decline, poor terms of trade, fast population growth, unfavorable weather, war, and government collapse have all contributed to the continent’s food problems. In the United States, the share of the population facing hunger has risen, but hunger in wealthy nations is neither as severe nor as widespread as in developing countries.

Hunger is also an environmental problem with fresh water, land, forests, and fisheries continually being used at or beyond capacity. In the competition for resources, poor and hungry people, lacking economic and political clout, have become even more marginalized. This is true especially in countries where land holdings are not even or fair, and poor families are forced to move onto fragile land and to overcrowded cities.

War is also a cause for hunger. War slows or stops food production and marketing. Food supplies are often taken and used as instruments of war, crop cycles are interrupted, seeds and breeding livestock are consumed in desperation, and children suffer lasting damage as a result of insufficient food. Even if fighting never occurs, heavy military spending depletes resources away from food production, education, and health care.

What are some of the causes of hunger?

How does war affect the availability of food?

What are some of the areas around the world where people experience hunger?

How many meals do you eat each day?


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