World Hunger: By the Numbers
Tomorrow, Oct. 16, is World Food Day, a day designated by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1979 to bring attention to world hunger and food (in)security.
Flash forward nearly 30 years, and the world is facing not just a credit crisis (as we watched the Dow tank last week), but an ongoing food-price crisis that is proving catastrophic, particularly in the developing world, a crisis that is causing riots and deepening the wounds of mass starvation.
In lieu of attempting to dissect the hows, whys and what-ifs of the world’s hunger crisis, I’m going to paint this gargantuan, mind-boggling and dire picture with numbers instead. It won’t solve anything, but it will get us talking, and maybe even get us thinking and doing and creating -- who knows – some itty bitty shred of change.
6.7 billion: The current world population (based on July 2008 estimates from CIA World Factbook
923 million: the world’s “undernourished” as defined by the FAO (consuming less than the minimum calories necessary to maintain minimum bodily functions.)
907 million: undernourished in the developing world (source: FAO)
1.4 billion: people living on $1.25 a day or less, according to the World Bank
300 million: U.S. population in 2006
29 million: food stamp recipients as of July 2008
7: dollars, the maximum daily allotment for a family of four on food stamps for 2008-2009 (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP)
72 million: obese people in US, 2005-2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
33: percentage of Americans who are obese (source: CDC, 2005-2006)
$3.16: 2 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola Classic *
$6.29: One gallon organic milk*
$.79: Cinnamon “crispy puffed corn” twists on the Why Pay More Value menu at Taco Bell
$5.89: 18-ounce box of Cheerios*
*Prices for grocery items were found on amazon.com
When was the last time you figured out just how much you spend on food every day? I know I’m in the dark on that front. Maybe instead of eating on a food stamp budget, the challenge here is to eat ourselves out of house and home before buying another crumb of food at the supermarket and making do with what we have.
By Kim ODonnel |
October 15, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
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