Could changes in Dietary Patterns of world population alleviate hunger problems.


by Khichdi lover
Tags: alleviate, dietary, hunger, patterns, population, world
Antiphon
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#37
Jan1-12, 01:19 AM
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I think it's essential to repeat the first part of the previous post.

Hunger in 2012 is political. The solution is political, not dietary, financial or technological.
JonDE
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#38
Jan1-12, 04:09 AM
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Quote Quote by Antiphon View Post
I think it's essential to repeat the first part of the previous post.

Hunger in 2012 is political. The solution is political, not dietary, financial or technological.
I'm not sure that you can just flat say that it is only political. Financial and technological have a lot to do with it. It comes back to the old saying. "give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". The problem is the economy of these regions, and to build an economy takes politics working along with cash and the necessary technology to compete.
moejoe15
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#39
Jan12-12, 08:38 PM
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I wonder what would happen if Chinese medicine decided powdered people cured some things?
feathermoon
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#40
Jan13-12, 12:32 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Yes, if you have starving people, you can either get more food or reduce the number of people. I omitted "reduce the number of people" it because in a developed and integrated world, people who can't produce food can buy it from people who produce too much food. I do not consider "overpopulation" to be a local problem, only a global one (if it existed, which it doesn't).
Based on what evidence? You know how a carrying capacity works, I assume, so in what way are starving people not evidence and proof of overpopulation?

Further, in your developed and integrated society (we'll say America, because from your definition it works well enough) where everyone eats even, do you still have any evidence that overpopulation doesn't exist? No. Even in the developed world where everyone eats, the carrying capacity for our species isn't met sustainably for the long term. Animal and plant species populations are shrinking everywhere to make up for our increasing share of the ecosystem. From an anthropocentric point of view this may seem inconsequential, until you consider that we rely on other species for our food sources (bee population is currently crashing, reducing pollination).

Your statement is incorrect, Russ.

I'd like to see a study linking vegetarianism to b12 deficiency directly--a greater percentage of veggies with it than the general population. Since b12 producers live in topsoil, veggies naturally eat food grown therefrom, and such a low requirement for b12 intake means I doubt this is really a problem.
russ_watters
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#41
Jan13-12, 06:12 AM
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Quote Quote by feathermoon View Post
Based on what evidence? You know how a carrying capacity works, I assume, so in what way are starving people not evidence and proof of overpopulation?
Er, well we could add up the calories of food produced and divide by the calories consumed in a typical diet to find the number of people the planet could support today with no extra effort on the part of food producers (ie, without the need to bring most of the world up to developed world standards of food production, which would vastly increase the amount of food produced). It is commonly accepted that the supply of food is greater than the demand, but I don't know how one would go about proving that. Not sure if the data exists in an easily digestible form.
russ_watters
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#42
Jan13-12, 06:15 AM
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Quote Quote by klimatos View Post
Come on, Russ. This is not up to your usual high standard. If starving people had money to buy food, they wouldn't be starving! And postulating some "pie in the sky" utopia that is "developed and integrated" is disingenuous. It doesn't exist, never has existed, and I see no evidence that it ever will exist.
Relax, klimatos: You're not reading what I'm saying.

1. I do not suggest that poor people in Africa have enough money to buy food.
2. I do not suggest that they ever will.

But:
3. This does not change the calculus: If there is currently enough food in the world to feed them, then producing more won't get them fed (unless it could be produced locally and cheaply). So that's why it is not a food production issue for the world, but a political and economic problem.
russ_watters
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#43
Jan13-12, 06:21 AM
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Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
I find it remarkable that Russ W. concludes in post # 29 “…how small of a problem hunger has become in the world” and “…a testament to how far we've come in eliminating starvation in the world.” while citing these five references:

http://www.ipcinfo.org/overview.php
http://www.ipcinfo.org/attachments/ReferenceTableEN.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Ho...ca_food_crisis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Ho...Africa_drought

I say a remarkable conclusion because the message the reader gets from reading the post is that the starvation/death cycle is not large or significant based on those small numbers cited, and that great progress in elimination of the problem has been made. It is true that the Wiki page on famines leaves blank the number of victims (deaths) for the most recent decade. This is presumably because the dying from lack of food to eat is still continuing. [emphasis added]
That's not the conclusion I reached. The conclusion I reached is that the death tolls were not listed because they were so low as to be difficult to isolate from data noise. This should be obvious based on the classification system used: these recent incidents had low death tolls because they were not famines.
While it is true some progress has been made, I think it is more accurate to say that hunger, malnutrition, and premature death continues to affect huge numbers of our human family.
I don't consider purely qualatative analysis to be useful - you have to do a real numbers comparison. Are these "huge numbers" higher or lower than 30 years ago? If these "huge numbers" are orders of magnitudes lower than 30 years ago, then I consider orders of magnitude improvement to be spectacular progress.
This report gives a very different view of the magnitude of the problem:

November 17, 2009
Rome, Italy (CNN) -- Somewhere in the world, a child dies of hunger every five seconds -- even though the planet has more than enough food for all.
Er, well, as I said in my previous post - conventional wisdom holds that there is enough food for all. But anyway, the fact that a child dies from hunger every five seconds doesn't tell us how the problem has changed over time.
ThomasT
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#44
Jan13-12, 07:24 AM
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It seems to me that it's been pretty well established that, wrt the OP, changes in dietary patterns of the world's population isn't going to alleviate world hunger problems.

Unless somebody disagrees with this, then discussions about what might alleviate world hunger problems might be done in new threads discussing the pros and cons of specific proposed solutions.

Afaik, there's enough food to feed everybody in the world on a daily basis. And if that's true, then what's the problem? Where in the world are large numbers of people truly malnourished, and why can't they get sufficient food?
MarcoD
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#45
Jan13-12, 09:34 AM
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Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
Afaik, there's enough food to feed everybody in the world on a daily basis. And if that's true, then what's the problem? Where in the world are large numbers of people truly malnourished, and why can't they get sufficient food?
Food Insecurity in the World

My own personal opinion on it is that we all will pretty much die in twenty to thirty years unless we invest heavily in renewable resources, which probably includes switching over to a hydrogen based based economy. Of course, no economist in his right mind will do that since it will cost trillions and a hydrogen based economy is plain lousy w.r.t. an oil based economy.

Can I kick some people?
Ryan_m_b
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#46
Jan13-12, 09:35 AM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
Food Insecurity in the World

My own personal opinion on it is that we all will pretty much die in twenty to thirty years unless we invest heavily in renewable resources, which probably includes switching over to a hydrogen based based economy. Of course, no economist in his right mind will do that since it will cost trillions and a hydrogen based economy is plain lousy w.r.t. an oil based economy.

Can I kick some people?
Personally I look to technologies like artificial photosynthesis to provide carbon-neutral oil rather than the billions upon billions it would cost to retool the oil industry and infrastructure into a hydrogen one.
MarcoD
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#47
Jan14-12, 04:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Personally I look to technologies like artificial photosynthesis to provide carbon-neutral oil rather than the billions upon billions it would cost to retool the oil industry and infrastructure into a hydrogen one.
The thing is that time is running out. IMO, the problem is solvable technologically, but we cannot wait until the last five years of oil because we'll be stuck in a starvation and WWIII scenario by then.

We need to construct solutions now (while energy is cheap), and, if all goes well, maybe even create a situation of energy abundance (which will be good for the economy btw, not all is bad.) So, personally, that means looking at the solutions we have now, and for my country, that means building windmills until we drop.

Not all is bad, if, for instance, guesstimating, say we'ld use 3-5% of the Sahara to produce hydrogen, probably a lot, if not all, of the world's energy problems would be fixed anyway. (Note that that probably is a few times France in energy production - you won't be able to do that in five years, same holds true for your solution. I am not talking science, I am talking engineering.)

(Seriously, of course I'll look stupid if somebody figures out, say, fission. But I find that scenario irrelevant atm since it is too much like believing in fairytales. They didn't solve it in the last 70 years, it's unlikely that they'll 'magically' solve it in the last five years of oil.)
ParticleGrl
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#48
Jan14-12, 05:09 PM
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unless we invest heavily in renewable resources, which probably includes switching over to a hydrogen based based economy.
Dude, you can't burn water and gain any energy. You have to make the hydrogen (from water) before you can use hydrogen to power anything.

In any case, free-market economics tells us that if you gave all of the world's starving peoples enough money to buy food, then the price of food would rise until some of those people still wouldn't have enough money to feed their families. And so on.
No, economics doesn't say that at all. That would only be true if there wasn't enough food to feed everyone, which (as we've seen throughout this) isn't the case. The problem, as so many have said, is distributional. If purchasing power were somehow magically equalized tomorrow , what economics would suggest is that some people in the first world will cut back on some excess (since there is a declining marginal utility to food).
MarcoD
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#49
Jan14-12, 05:16 PM
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Quote Quote by ParticleGrl View Post
Dude, you can't burn water and gain any energy. You have to make the hydrogen (from water) before you can use hydrogen to power anything.
Darling, a hydrogen based economy implies that hydrogen is mass produced by renewable resources like the sun, wind, and hydro, whatever means. It's the timing of the mass production which worries me, not the rest.
mheslep
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#50
Jan14-12, 06:46 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Personally I look to technologies like artificial photosynthesis to provide carbon-neutral oil rather than the billions upon billions it would cost to retool the oil industry and infrastructure into a hydrogen one.
I'd be interested in seeing some explanation of why you favor artificial photosynthesis, and how it could render 19 mbbl/day of hydrocarbon liquids, requiring a couple multiples of that in water. In another thread perhaps.
Containment
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#51
Jan15-12, 11:27 AM
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In my opinion the world doesn't have a hunger problem it has a educational problem. I'm not going to link my sources for this as I feel it is generally understood to be true. If enough people asks for them I'll find some as I'm sure it's easy info to find even on wiki. Anyhow my point is that country's with good educational systems tend to have lower birth rates. Lower birth rates result in slower population growth or in the case of the US and some other country's negative population growth excluding people coming in from other places. Less population means more to go around overall assuming that the rich don't just hoard it all. So if more effort is put into improving the worlds educational systems that should in turn result in less baby's and more food/resources.

Of course the more interesting thing that I just recently learned that I had not really considered is that overpopulation was one of the biggest driving forces behind technological advancements in the past. It seems when the wealthy land owners had stability they also had little reason to advance crop growing methods. So perhaps overpopulation is a motivational force for good? I think that may have been true in the past however I personally don't see how education or lower population can be a terribly bad thing in the current age.

One thing I do think that is interesting is that the country seen as the fastest growing currently "China" has had laws put in place that helped to lower it's birth rates. So could it be that just passing laws that help to lower a country's birthrates could be the trick to getting a better economy and more education?

TL:DR More Education = Less Population = More Wealth
Containment
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#52
Jan15-12, 11:40 AM
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I also wanted to give the Op kudos I do agree that most people at least in the USA could eat healthier and it would probably save them money and be better use of farm land to have less cow/ pigs ect... I used to wonder how on earth people could spend so much on food I spend about 1/2 to 1/3 of what most people tell me they spend on food in week and I personally feel like I splurge on unhealthy stuff more then I should. I guess that kinda explains why I see so many people that look like they couldn't even use an escalator without breaking a sweat.
MarcoD
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#53
Jan15-12, 03:16 PM
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Quote Quote by Containment View Post
Of course the more interesting thing that I just recently learned that I had not really considered is that overpopulation was one of the biggest driving forces behind technological advancements in the past.
It isn't, and it hasn't been.

Recently, I am hearing a lot of 'complacent' and 'military' explanations on how history, and technological advances, evolve.

Stuff like:
  • All progress is due to struggle.
  • The cold war drove a large number of technological advances.
  • When forced by environmental circumstances, technological advance will solve all problems.
  • And now, overpopulation is a driving force.

Sorry, but all rather idiotic. As far as we know:

Technological advances occur most when well-educated people can work on solutions in peace.

The rest is humbug.
mheslep
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#54
Jan15-12, 04:02 PM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
...
Sorry, but all rather idiotic. As far as we know:

Technological advances occur most when well-educated people can work on solutions in peace.

The rest is humbug.
Educated people working in relative peace and freedom, to draw a distinction between the former Soviet Union (and its terrible products like the Lada automobile) which had well educated populace, was generally at peace, but never free.


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