Starvation Problems Caused By Population Explosion Essay, Research Paper
Starvation Problems Caused by Population Explosion A U.N. Initiative Could Help Distribute U.S. Surpluses to Countries in Need
Each year thousands of people worldwide die from malnutrition and starvation. It is estimated that between twenty and twenty-five percent of the world s population is not receiving an adequate diet (Kendall, 197). African nations such as Somalia, Sudan, and Mozambique have captured the world s attention with stories of children who are suffering, if not dying from hunger. Most of these countries are unable to produce an adequate food supply for its population. In other areas of the world, however, countries grow such a surplus of food that the government curtails a farmer s production level (Southwick, 212). In the United State, farmers are paid by the government not to grow food because of the surpluses that already exist (Kendall, 30). This restriction on production occurs even though millions of people in the United States are starving. The world-population explosion is one reason that food shortages in some areas and surpluses in others are becoming serious societal problems.
There are many reasons to attempt to alleviate the food shortage problems of our country and our world. First of all children are the most frequent victims of starvation (Lupien, 94). Secondly, starvation can affect anyone. It is no longer just a concern in third world nations. In fact, as the population increases, the availability of food decreases and thus creates greater incidences of famine in many countries of the world. In fact, there are many places in the world that cannot supply adequate food for their children and subsequently causes many children to die. According to Dr. Larry Brown of Tufts University, there are an estimated twelve million children and thirty million adults in the United States alone who go hungry (Grossfield, 37). Despite this fact, the United States government actually pays farmers to stop growing food because there are food surplus in the United States. However, when 42 million Americans are going hungry, maybe this surplus should be reconsidered. Somehow the government must realize that there are millions of Americans suffering from lack of food. Some sort of food assistance program should be established for those who can not adequately provide for themselves and their families.
Recent trends to combat world food shortages have included such technology as genetic engineering. Genetic engineering has been used in agriculture to increase crop production during shorter growing cycles. As a result, genetic engineering was supposed to decrease famine by increasing the world s food supply (Kendall, 33). Additionally, genetic engineering would allow products to be produced in particular climates and with specific nutritional characteristics such as low fat and cholesterol percentages and high vitamin content (Pimental, 358). However, genetic engineering did not work as well as had been hoped. The reason for this is that agriculture, even those that were genetically engineered, need sufficient soil and water supplies to produce the highest yields (Kendall, 33). As the population increases and land is destroyed for housing, ground water supplies become polluted and therefore soil becomes contaminated. Even in the most prosperous areas for growing, soil is being lost at a tremendous rate (Kendall, 204). These issues all pose a problem in adequate food production for the needy.
In order to combat the international food crisis, the United Nations could pass an international treaty to encourage excess food production. The food could then be quickly distributed to areas of need. As the food supplies increase due to incentives provided to farmers for growing the maximum amount of crops their land can support, the available food products for the hungry would also increase. Write your congressman today and ask him or her to support an international effort at reducing famine and starvation as a result of population growth.
Kendall, H. W., Beachy, R., and Eisner, T., Bioengineering of Crops . Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs Series. 1997. Volume 23. Pages 23-38.
Kendall, H. W. and Pimental, D. Constraints on the Expansion of Global Food Supplies . Ambio. 1994. Volume 23. Pages 198-205.
Lupien, J. R. A Global View of Food Supply, Access to Food and Nutrition Adequacy . Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. 1996. Volume 9. Pages 92-101.
Pimental, D. Natural Resources and an Optimum Human Population . Population and Environment. 1994. Volume 15. Pages 347-369.
Southwick, C. H. Global Ecology in Human Perspective. Oxford University Press, New York, 1996.