When we feel the urge to eat, we think we are hungry. But have we ever really experienced hunger? What is the definition of hunger? The word hunger covers 2 terms:
Under-nourishment: when people don’t eat enough calories to meet the minimum physiological needs.
Malnutrition: when people have a limited diet that does not provide the necessary proteins, energy and micronutrients, which can lead to infections.
Food insecurity is the situation where people are unsure if they will be able to have a daily meal to provide them with the necessary ingredients for a normal healthy development.
To measure hunger, The United Nations calculate the proportion of a country’s inhabitants that don’t have access to enough food to provide for a minimum level of energy. Another measurement is the number of children under 5 that are malnutritioned.
The first Millennium Development Goal was to eradicate hunger and half the proportion of people having hunger by 2015. Of the 129 countries involved, 72 reached the goal of halving undernourishment. Nearly 800 million people however are still starving. The new goal is to eradicate hunger completely by 2030. How can this be achieved?
According to the United Nations data, there is enough food produced for everyone on the planet, but the food is badly distributed. 33% of food in the north is wasted by consumers and retail. In the south, food gets lost because of inadequate storage facilities.
According to Evan Fraser, a researcher of the University of Guelph and Colombia, the earth is not heading towards the Malthus-effect, where food production cannot keep up with the population growth. "Hunger is more a problem of politics and everyday behavior."
Local farmers in Africa should be supported to produce food and sell it on the local markets, instead of flooding the development countries with cheap import products. The locals should be encouraged and instructed on how to work the land.