Hunger


To a hungry man a piece of bread is the face of God...
— Ghandi

Malnutrition and hunger due to natural disasters, human conflict, poor infrastructure, lack of agricultural management and most of all APATHY is the number one risk to health worldwide; even greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. 

Hunger, or the sensation of being hungry, in a general sense is a term that is used to describe organisms who live with the chronic condition of needing food or nourishment.  Looking past the obvious symptoms of hunger, an empty stomach, fatigue and dizziness, hunger also leads to deficiencies of micronutrients in the body.  This concoction not only impairs physical and mental development, reduces labor productivity and increases premature death but also leaves people susceptible to contract diseases (WHO, 2009).  

According to the World Health Organization, freedom from hunger and malnutrition is a basic human right and their alleviation is a fundamental prerequisite for human and national development, thus posing a burden on the developing world.  Economists estimate that every child whose physical and mental development is stunted by hunger or malnutrition, stands to lose 5-10 percent of their lifetime earnings.  Poverty is the number one cause of malnutrition; the lack of resources for poor people, the unequal distribution of income, the inability to earn a decent wage all contribute to poverty, which leads to hunger and malnutrition. Right now there are 925 million undernourished people on Earth, which is a decline from 2009 figures that state 1.3 billion were undernourished.  Just in the United States, 1 in every 6 people are malnourished and 1 in 7 people do not get enough food to live a healthy life. 

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The number one victims of hunger and malnutrition are children. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges the fact that malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality; which is present in half of all starvation cases.  Note, that starvation and malnutrition are two different conditions and the reality is that much fewer people are starving than are malnourished.  Furthermore, a lack of nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year while magnifying the effects of diseases, such as measles and malaria. With places like Africa suffering numerous cases of these diseases, plague-like hunger and malnutrition create a scenario for even greater cases of child morbidity. Children who do not consume enough daily nourishment suffer approximately 160 days of sickness each year.  Africa is not the only country that suffers.  Geographically, more than 70 percent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 percent in Africa and 4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

One major problem of world hunger is how much food the world WASTES.  In the US, it is estimated that 30% or, 100 billion pounds of food gets wasted a year!  In US dollars, thats about 48.2 billion worth of food!  If only 25% of the100 billion pounds of food were recovered, we could feed 20 million people.  This confounding figure would not only feed every hungry child in America but the entire nation of Mozambique in West Africa.  What is truly astounding is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations not only insists the world already produces enough food to feed everyone (6 billion people), but could actually feed double the amount of people (12 billion).  It is unfortunate to think we could actually feed entire nations with this amount of waste.

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One way to solve world hunger would be to help impoverished countries develop new ways to grow food or continue to work on free trade to help these nations increase their GDP.  There are millions of people that live in areas of the world that are incapable of producing sufficient food crops or are nearly impossible to irrigate.  By developing new methods for maximizing crop growth on substandard land, inhabitants could grow enough food to meet their living needs. Another way to solve world hunger is to improve the food distribution infrastructure.  A number of first-world countries have massive surpluses of staple crops, especially wheat, rice and corn. These stockpiles are replenished regularly through subsidized farming.  The problem is that poorer countries, which could benefit from these surpluses are often controlled by hostile governments which either refuse offers of food or essentially hold the food hostage at vital distribution points.  These are but a few of the dozen ways to conquer the world hunger problem. We just hope this little information given to you is enough to ignite you to get involved.