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UN Leader: World Needs 50 Percent More Food

The world must produce 50 percent more food by 2030, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told world leaders yesterday at a summit hosted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

The UN leader urged nations to minimize trade barriers, and to produce more food. Pope Benedict XVI had a slightly different message, noting that the world already has the means to solve the problem. The Pope said: "hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world which, in reality, has sufficient production levels, the resources, and the know-how to put an end to these tragedies and their consequences."

While they meet about how to solve the immediate hunger crisis caused by rising food costs, world leaders don't want to look like a bunch of foodie hypocrites. To see what they'll be eating,


Leaders, including Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy, President Sarkozy of France, and Iran's Ahmadinejad, will dine off a more modest menu which includes: pasta, mozzarella, spinach and sweetcorn, instead of the usual lobster, goose, and foie gras. But don't worry, they'll still get to sample some Italian wines.

From where I'm sitting in America, surrounded by frequent news of chronic obesity, it's hard to imagine needing more food. The world leaders' decision to cut back on their own consumption may be a signal to those who have plenty, or to those who only experience the food crisis at the cash register, but not in their stomachs. Perhaps we need to increase the supply of food and cut back on demand in certain places.


Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
if someone offed Micheal Moore we would be allright.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
i agree un rozenaut-what if their arent any fish?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LMAO! The hogs at the table need to eat 50% less.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
We should take that food that Myanmar is rejecting, and send it to Ethiopia, where they could use it.
stiletta stiletta 9 years
This isn't a supply problem, this is a distribution problem. Look at Myanmar as a perfect example. We need 50% more political stability in the world and that'll change everything.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
In general, though, I do believe in "teach a man to fish". I think that both sides prefer the results of that. I'm just saying I think there will always be some cases where flat out handing out fish is the only compassionate thing to do.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
UnDave, interesting point but I'm not sure it's that simple. For example, most of the homeless population in DC are people who were simply left on the streets when a major local mental hospital closed down. Feeding them meals during the day is a measure to prevent starvation - it's not what's hindering them from getting into the job market.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I agree Rozenaut. We need to provide for people initially, but also provide a way for those people to take care of themselves. It's kind of the same way with the homeless in this country. If we just feed them, they'll be back tomorrow. We teach them a skill, help them overcome their emotional/psychological burdens, then they can fend for themselves.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I just sent $1,000 to a shave the whales fund. Do you think it is fraudulent?
Rozenaut Rozenaut 9 years
"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime." Right? I'm not the most knowledgeable person on this issue (heck, I'm not even sure if I'd call myself knowledgeable at all), but it seems to me like a combination of helping them obtain the means to help themselves and allowing for the freer trade and distribution without all of the politics would help a lot.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Thanks Cine. It amazes me that many people just donate and do not understand the dynamics of other countries' governments. They do not understand the relation we as the US have with these countries or in that fact the relationship the UN has. It just amazes me. Sometimes I think it would be a disadvantage just to grow food and give it to these people; I believe if you teach someone to better themselves, giving them the knowledge and/or education then they can better themselves and their communities. I believe that some of the would can be cultivated with farming or other areas to improve lives conditions there and maybe then supplement with food from other countries. We should not allow any country to depend heavily on another but to work with them.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
Sorry, after thought, I think it's to regulate prices, or at least that's what they say. I really don't see a disadvantage in raising or lowing costs if a few million more people were being fed.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
The United States alone has the capacity to grow enough corn to feed most of the world, if not all of it. The government, not just in the United States, but also in Europe is paying farming not to produce food. It's just ridiculous.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Bella you bring up a great point. People will donate a lot of times to charities without researching the charity. Many donations don't go where they are suppose to go, and other people who don't need the money take a huge chunk. There are many websites and publications you can find in your library that focus on what charities are the best and will tell you what percentage goes to the people in need.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I also agree with the Pope. It's so hard to help a country when politics are involved. The politicians of these countries benefit from the charity or contributions more than the people.
syako syako 9 years
Brilliant :highfive:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
We can stop paying farmers not to grow food. :ponder:
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
Must say the Pope is right on...I always felt that the biggest irony in the world is that we already possess the resources to help those in need..this society, for the most part, is just to individualistic to realize that. (not offending anyone, as I am living in "this society" as well)..its just sad that someone can be a billionaire and there are children still starving doesnt make sense to me!
stephley stephley 9 years
Can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with the Pope. We have the food and the means to keep the food moving to people, but politics (government, corporate, religious etc.) get in the way of fair and reasonable distribution.
foxie foxie 9 years
If we stopped using so much HEALTHY food to feed animals which are then turned into UNHEALTHY food, we'd be in a much better place in the world. Just sayin'!
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