This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

World Food Day 2012

It seems that on almost every day of the year we commemorate something of importance to demography and the 16th of October is the traditional World Food Day, celebrating the creation by the UN of the Food and Agriculture Organization, as I have noted before. Full disclosure: I have been a consultant to the FAO and one of my former PhD students used to work there, and my involvement recognizes my belief in the important role they play in trying to ensure that we are all fed as well as possible.

There is a general belief that we actually grow enough food on this planet to feed our 7 billion people, if only we didn't waste quite a bit of it, and if only we made sure that food surpluses in some areas were transported to food deficient areas. But the reality of the world is that food will always be wasted, and distribution systems will always be imperfect. Thus, we genuinely need to grow more food than would technically be necessary to feed 7 billion in order to adequately feed 7 billion. At the moment, we don't do that. Since we don't do that, will we be able to feed the 10 billion that the UN projects to be around in 2057? We don't know the answer to that question, but the FAO is working on it...

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