World Food Day: Is There Enough for Everyone?

World Food Day: Is There Enough for Everyone?

Yes, but there are barriers that persist.

October 16th was World Food Day around the globe. It’s a day founded by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization in 1945 meant to inspire change and bring awareness to the issue of hunger, worldwide.

Of course, many of us in North America have plenty on our plate, and have never experienced the pain of not having enough to eat. Count yourself as blessed if this is you. The reality, however, is different. Millions of Americans are food insecure, meaning they are frequently forced to skip meals or eat less due to poverty.

Countless other countries and communities around the world also face hunger each day.

The reach of food scarcity drifts much farther than hunger pangs. As Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist once said,

“We can’t build world peace on empty stomachs and human misery.”

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But is there truly enough food for everyone?

Borlaug gained fame when he developed high-yield, disease-resistant strains of wheat back in 1970. His discoveries helped to pave the way for modern day agricultural technology and the bounty North Americans and others face today.

According to Oxfam, the world currently produces 17% more food per person than it did just 30 years ago. But this doesn’t mean the system entirely works. Hunger, experts say, is due to issues of inequality.

Here are some stats from Oxfam:

  • 925 million people do not have enough food to eat —more than the populations of Canada, USA, and the EU.
  • Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60% of the world’s hungry.
  • 98% of the world’s hungry live in developing countries.
  • Asia and the Pacific Region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people.
  • 65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

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