World Hunger Essay Research Paper world hunger

World Hunger Essay, Research Paper

world hunger

World Hunger Every day an estimated 24,000 people die from hunger or

hunger related causes. Three-fourths of these deaths are children under the

age of five. One may wonder how this can be living in a country were it

seems so much food is wasted everyday. Food restaurants and grocery

stores throw away food every night before closing. Many Americans waste

food every day within their own homes. With so much ?left over? food in

American how is it that an estimated 800 million people around the world

suffer from hunger and malnutrition?1 Well, first we must define the word

hunger. Hunger, in this case, is not just the rumbling in ones stomach that

most of us feel if we have not eaten for a few hours. For this purpose, hunger

is defined as ?a condition resulting from chronic under-consumption of food

and/or nutritious food products. It may be precipitated by an inability to

obtain sufficient quantities of food to eat or a failure to consume adequate

quantities of nutritious food products, regardless of the ability to obtain

sufficient food supplies.?2 The problem of world hunger is not that there is

not enough food produced in the world. ?World production of grain alone is

over 1.5 billion tons, enough to supply the entire world population with two

pounds a day.?3 This grain combined the current production of other foods

such as meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts is enough to provide each adult and

child on earth 3000 calories a day which is what the average American

consumes.4 Americans are not the only ones who waste food. People all

over the world are doing the very same thing. And the though it seems that

America has too much food, we Americans have hungry people living right

here in our own country. The world hunger problem lies within the changing

environmental conditions, population, and most of all, poverty. This paper will

discuss the causes, effects and possible solutions of world hunger. There are

three major causes of world hunger, changing environment conditions,

population, and poverty. The environment, of course, is the major element in

the production of food in most countries across the globe. The environment in

which one lives decides what types of food can be produced and how much

of that food can be produced. The weather or climate in any particular

environment can change and affect what people eat and how much of it they

are able to eat. One change in the environment that adversely affects

agriculture is soil erosion. ?Some one-third of the world?s cropland is loosing

topsoil at a rate that undermines its future productivity.?5 Topsoil is a major

factor in growing most crops. It is the richest part of the soil and contains

minerals and nutrients that most plants need for survival. Too much soil

erosion begins a chain reaction leaving the land susceptible to drought. And

as we all know, very little food can be grown on dry land. A drought not only

affects plants, but as a result of lack of plants and water and in many cases

extreme heat cattle are starved or die from thirst. This loss of organic matter

in the land results in runoff after rainfall and increased runoff and rainfall

allows for flooding. A flood, like the drought though they are opposite, wipes

away crops or kills them because of the overabundance of water. People can

attempt to produce food by planting and caring for their land and animals, but

Mother Nature has the ultimate say and humans are unable to predict what

she will do next. The next two causes of hunger we will discuss together

because they coincide, population and the poor. Population is an issue not

because there are too many mouths to feed, as was stated earlier, but

because the hungry people of the world are the majority who have large

families and continue to increase them, thus creating hungry children. ?Poor

people have large families for many reasons?Reasons of security for their

old age. Reasons about additional help on the land. Reasons concerning the

cultural preference for sons. Reasons related to the laws of inheritance.

Reasons dictated by traditional religious behavior. And reasons of personal

pride?6 These are all reasons why poor people all over the country continue

to have large families generation after generation despite their economic

condition. The majority of the hungry live and work in rural areas. Why are

poor people affected so much by hunger? The answer would be seemingly

simple, that they are just unable to afford food. But let us examine more

closely other reasons the poor across the world are so stricken with hunger.

Many of the poor around the world are tenant farmers and do not own the

land in which they work and live.7 These tenant farmers are many times paid

very little for the service they provide to the owners and are unable to

purchase the food in which they helped produce. Those who do own a small

plot of land for farming their own land still need money to do so. In order to

care for the land for the benefit of food production a farmer needs tools as

well as other materials and resources, all items that cost money. ?Adequate

nourishment for a family depends upon its ability either to produce enough

food for its own needs or to earn enough money to buy the food-or some

combination of the two. Without this ability color the family hungry.?8

Malnutrition is the most common affect of hunger. Malnutrition is ?a term

indicating an impairment to physical and/or mental health resulting from failure

to meet nutrient requirements. The insufficiency of nutrients may result from

inadequate nutrient intake or from interference with the body?s ability to

process and utilize nutrients.?9 Malnutrition causes many health conditions

such as stunting of growth, tissue wasting, cognitive and behavioral deficits, or

starvation. The lack of vitamin C that a hungry person does without can cause

scurvy, loss of teeth, and a weakening of the immune system. Lack of iodine

in ones diet can cause crippling or mental retardation. The lack of vitamin A

in ones diet can cause blindness. In its worst cases, malnutrition leads to

death, especially in children. ?In Latin America and Caribbean, studies

indicate that malnutrition is the primary cause of or major contributing factor

in 60 percent of deaths of children under the age of five.?10 Malnutrition hits

hardest on the children because they are still growing and developing

immunities to disease and developing strong healthy bodies. For a

malnourished child, common illnesses such as measles and diarrhea can lead

to death. Seventy-five percent of the people that die from hunger every 3.6

seconds across the globe are children under the age of 5. Hunger affects

adults as well by weakening their immune systems and making them weak

suspecting them to sickness and disease, which will later lead to death. The

solution to ending world hunger does not lie in money or any other one

answer. There are many ideas and ?solutions? being applied today, yet

hunger remains. In terms of dollars the United States has been the worlds

largest donor of foreign aid.11 The U.S. Marshall Plan of 1948 was the first

government foreign-aid program. General George Marshall outlined the plan

stating: ?It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do

to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world?Our policy is

directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty,

desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working

economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social

conditions in which free institutions can exist??12 The Marshall Plan put

major emphasis on grants and loans for repair of industrial plants and

infrastructure. The plan succeeded in many ways. One example is that by

1951 Europe?s overall production rate had risen 37 percent. The four-point

plan, the first major plan for the third world country soon followed the

Marshall Plan and provided support to small technical assistance projects for

a number of developing nations.13 Since the Marshall Plan in the late 40s, the

U.S. has continued to help countries through foreign aid policies. However,

foreign aid does not just come from countries it can also come from private

voluntary organizations. Most often times these private organizations such as

?Feed the Children? and the ?Christian Children?s Fund? focus on small-scale

projects directed toward the third world countries. Another solution to the

problem of World Hunger is through education. The majorities of poor and

hungry people around the world are illiterate or have little education.

Providing these people with an education would allow them to act successful

in the job market, and allow them a better understanding of the politics and

conditions surrounding them. In this way education may also provide

population control by educating women about birth control methods and

family planning. Education may also enable farmers to learn better farming

techniques and about food conservation. World hunger affects everyone on

our plant, not just the poor or those living in third-world countries. Hunger

touches each one of us because we, the taxpayers, are helping to aid it. Not

only does it touch our pockets, but also it touches our conscious. How can

anyone look at a starving child and not think about the food that they waste

day in and day out. How can we stand by and watch people that go to work

everyday like ourselves and cannot afford to feed their families. It is unfair

that we live in a world where food is thrown out in the garbage rather than

used to save the life of a child.


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