The world food crisis and political Malthusianism

Reason

by Ronald Bailey

07/08/08

The price of staples like corn, wheat, and rice are escalating, indicating that demand is outstripping supplies. Why? Because of political and economic institutional failures, not overpopulation. First, let’s deal with the claim that human population, like the populations of all other animals, expands as food supplies increase. On a global level that certainly looks plausible. As the amount of food increased over the last century, world population rose from 1.5 billion in 1900 to 6.6 billion today. Case closed? Not so fast. Consider that countries with the highest food security are also the same countries with below replacement total fertility rates. If the availability of food was the chief determinant of birth rates, then one would expect Iowa farmers would spawn more kids than any group on the planet. Instead, it is countries in which food insecurity is greatest that have the highest total fertility rates...

//www.reason.com/news/show/127428.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

--------

Women Hardest Hit by Food Crisis

Kevin Sullivan, of The Washington Post: "Rubbing her red-rimmed eyes, chewing lightly on a twig she picked off the ground, Lingani gave the last of her food to the children. 'I'm not hungry,' she said. In poor nations, such as Burkina Faso in the heart of West Africa, mealtime conspires against women. They grow the food, fetch the water, shop at the market and cook the meals. But when it comes time to eat, men and children eat first, and women eat last and least."

//www.truthout.org/article/women-hardest-hit-food-crisis



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