Monday, December 05, 2011

food facts

At present, the total quantity of food that is produced globally is good enough to meet the daily needs of 11.5 billion people. If every individual were to get his daily food requirement as per the WHO norms, there would be abundant food supplies. In terms of calories, against the average per capita requirement of 2,300, what is available is a little more than 4,500 calories.

An average American consumes about 125 kg of meat, including 46 kg of poultry meat. While the Indians are still lagging behind, the Chinese are fast catching up with the American lifestyle. The Chinese consume about 70 kg of meat on average each year, inclusive of 8.7 kg of poultry meat. The Indian average is around 3.5 kg of meat, much of it (2.1 kg) coming from poultry. If you put all this together, the Chinese are the biggest meat eaters, and for obvious reasons - devouring close to 100 million tonnes every year. America is not far behind, consuming about 35 million tonnes of meat in a year. Six times more grain is required to provide the proteins that are consumed by the meat-eaters. Americans throw away as much as 30 percent of their food.

The 1996 World Food Summit, political leaders pledged to pull out half the world's hungry (at that time the figure was somewhere around 840 million) by the years 2015. In other words, by 2010, the world should have removed at least 300 million people from the hunger list. Instead it has added another 85 million to raise the hunger tally to 925 million. Considering FAO's projections of the number of people succumbing to hunger and malnutrition at around 24,000 a day, it is estimated that by the year 2015, the 20 years time limit that World Food Summit had decided to work on to pull out half the hungry, 172 million people would die of hunger.

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