Food and an Increasing Population
T. Adam Wichelmann's Blog
As the human population continues to grow, the food shortage problem becomes increasingly more severe. With our food unit, we have routinely discussed the impacts of a growing population and the subsequent demand for more food, especially from the meat industry. As I was checking out the seed magazine website I stumbled on an article that directly touches on this issue and the discussion revolved around it. This particular article was entitled Carnivores Like Us and focused specifically on China's changing appetite.
With a changing world comes a changing demand for food. As China's population has increased its raw demand for food has subsequently increased. A further change has been the type of food that China is currently demanding. As the Chinese culture has developed per capita income has also increased. Similar to the United States, China has increased meat consumption with increased wealth. This increase in meat demand has lead to many potential problems becoming increasingly more real, such as a meat/food shortages, an unhealthy society (the article states that China's obese population is increasing), more water contamination from livestock, and controversy surrounding grown animal products. These problems need solutions, but how do we effectively control the food for our growing population?
The discussion around providing answers to the food shortage problem have almost all been linked to agriculture. As mentioned in class, I think we really need to improve our means of distributing food because countries like the US and China have more than enough food. Distribution of food will help curve food shortages. Developing ways to improve agriculture seem like a prime example of a "technological fix" to a bigger problem. Almost all of the solutions to a food shortage problem have focused on catering to this increasing population. Rather I think we need to see the bigger picture and develop ways in which we can address the population problem rather than the food shortage problem which results from too many people. This planet can only sustain so many and I think we need to really focus efforts on halting the increasing population. Although I don't have solutions to curbing the increasing population, I think we should put our effort into developing solutions because this will subsequently solve a lot of problems discussed in our class.