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Starvation, Hunger, and Impoverishment

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Fact Sheet

Context

  • In developing countries, almost 5 million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year and another 800 million are unable to lead a normal life because of chronic hunger. (UN FAO Hunger Facts, 2014) [1]
  • “Between now and 2050, the global population is projected to rise from about 7 billion to 9.2 billion, demanding a 60 percent increase in global food production.” (UN FAO Hunger Facts, 2014) [2]

Sources

  • According to a report from from the United Nations, the World Bank, and others, and signed by 58 nations (the IAASTD report), the calories that are lost by feeding soy, vegetables, and grains to animals, instead of using them directly as human food, could feed an additional 3.5 billion people. (2008) [3]
  • A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by two environmental scientists, a physicist, and a molecular biologist says that "replacing all animal-based items with plant-based replacement diets can produce up to 20 times more nutritionally similar food on the same amount of land" [4]
  • According to a peer-reviewed study published by the World Resources Institute in 2014, titled “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” it takes on average 24 calories of plant feed to produce one calorie of food from animals. (This is an average of figures from the graph on page 37 of the study.) [5]
  • A Cornell University ecologist calculates that we could feed over four hundred million more people in the United States with grain that livestock eats. (1997) [6]
  • A University of Minnesota study found that "36% of the calories produced by the world’s crops are being used for animal feed, and only 12% of those feed calories ultimately contribute to the human diet (as meat and other animal products)." [7]
  • Eighty percent of the world’s starving children live in countries where food is given to livestock that will then be shipped to and eaten in more affluent countries. This figure is given by Dr. Richard Oppenlander. [8]

See Also

Plain Text

Footnotes

Meta

This fact sheet was originally authored by Greg Fuller and copyedited by Isaac Nickerson. The contents may have been edited since that time by others.