The Starving

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Tobes, Nov 2, 2009.

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  1. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    There are more than 850 Million starving people in the world, or 13% of the worlds population. This, of course is a problem. But what can we do about it? There is already more people in the world than there is food to feed them, although with Genetically Modified food we could produce more. When most people think of starving people, they think of Ethiopians, but there are some on every country.

    Now we can try and feed them, and diminish what food we have for ourselves, and raise the global population. This will only create more and more people to feed, and will be an ongoing problem. Or, we can leave them to starve, let nature take its course, slowing the population increase. Unfortunately there will still be starving people, because there is so many and hungry people like to fuck just like the rest of us.

    I think that there is already too many people in the world, and the more people there are the worse it will eventually get, maybe not for us but for our grandchildren and their grandchildren and so on. I know it seems heartless to say they should starve, but that is the way of the world, that the strong and industrious survive and the weak perish. I can't with good conscience decide which is the right option. What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Actually we have more than enough food to feed everyone.
    I'm sure you've heard of our "food mountains" and not to mention beef production which uses huge amounts of grain (says the guy that ate Rib eye for dinner but sod it).
    The problem is distributing it too the people who need it and those who could be producing it themselves (A la Zimbabwe) pissing on their chips further.
     
  3. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    Well that's good to know, last I heard we didn't. And now there is over 1 billion starving, not 850 Million, which is just plain fucked. Are you Christians praying for them?
     
  4. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Just a quick google search result. Albeit a slightly old article.

    http://www.openeurope.org.uk/media-centre/article.aspx?newsid=1759

    Baring in mind the EU simultaneously subsidises farmers to leave land fallow and grow rape for biofuels.

    Edit - Not sure if you were aiming the religious comments at anyone in particular, but I'm not a believer.
     
  5. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Yeah, lots of food.

    Cattle takes about 6x as much resources (they're fed lower quality food which can be grown in larger amounts per acre/time/input, so the usual 10x thing doesn't exactly apply) per pound as grain. ...on that note, actually, if we ate lower quality foods there would be significantly more around. Further, most Americans eat about twice as much as they need; other developed nations overeat as well but not to such a gross (somewhat of a pun) extent.

    Further, there's unexploited food. It's estimated that the shrimp population around antarctica could feed something like 50 million people 100% of their calories sustainably. But no one's fishing it.

    So, if everyone were to cut out farmed meats and eat the amount they should, there could be food for like 15 billion people using agriculture techniques available today. And it'd be cheap as hell for only 7 billion.
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    But should we feed the hungry and possibly overpopulate the earth or leave them be in an attempt to keep the Global Population level?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2009
  7. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I doubt we'll overpopulate the earth. In urbanized areas people have fewer children, and as we grow in population more people urbanize... I think we'll level out if we eat responsibly.
     
  8. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    First off, very good topic and I'm glad to see such compassion.

    Secondly, the situation isn't as hopeless as it may seem, though it is certainly daunting. The rise in starvation to 1 billion is largely a result of numerous converging factors, namely the recession and several terrible droughts throughout East Africa and South Asia (among the most populated and already starving places in the world).

    There is a lot of controversy as to the degree that global warming is affecting farming, particularly in already unstable weather systems like those in sub-Saharan Africa. If it were the case, the only solution would be the use of modified strains of crops, which could require less water or produce higher yields (such an advancement in the 60s and 70s led to the "Green Revolution" and a decline in starvation and malnourishment.

    In fact, history considered, the percentage of those starving is the lowest than at any point in human history. It's no to say that those starving are not worth it the bother, but just to give a bit of hope as to the progression. Research has shown that food is plentiful if were to keep to the reasonable 2,000 calorie diet. The probelm is that many richer countries, especially the United States, consume far more than that. Food is disproportionately distributed and consumed by a smaller segment of the world's population.

    The consumption of meat, as noted above, is another big factor. Meat from cattle alone could feed about 6 million people. But the grain used to feed those cattle - cereals which constitute the bulk of what most people in the world eat - could have fed a whopping 100 million people. Vegetarianism is increasingly becoming more palatable for efficiency's sake than for the ethical (not to mention the health reasons).

    Happily, despite our red meat oriented diets in the west, consumption of the redder stuff has declined in favor of lighter (and less grain consuming) poultry. Sadly, meat consumption rising elsewhere apparently.

    A final factor rarely taken into account - politics. The overwhelming majority of the world's starving are in poor, corrupt, and undemocratic regimes. Were they to have accountable government and institutions, chances are famines would be far less prevelant (especially since there'd actually be an apparatus for distributing fertillizer, managing farms, etc). The ending or at least easing of unfair subsidizes in the EU and America (among several others) would certainly end the skew in the market in favor of western farmers.

    In short: it'll take a concerted effort on many fronts to end the problem of starvation. But with the increase in global consciousness and technology, I think it'll be far more probable than ever before.
     
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