Food, Land, and People
In a continuation of the Chain Reactions of Food Security series, we’re exploring the human dimension of the global food chain. This series will show how the modern global food system is impacted – in both positive and negative ways – by man made factors in addition to natural ones.
Technological advances in agriculture and shipping have led to incredible increases in food production and distribution. Global trade has expanded at a rapid pace and on the whole, the food system, has become more stable. At the same time, our food supply remains vulnerable to sudden shocks, with significant political and social consequences.
Agricultural advances have made farming more and more efficient…
As we saw in our previous post, the world is getting more crowded. We’re on track to support 9.7 billion people by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done to mitigate the negative effects of a growing population. For one, agriculture is becoming far more efficient and productive—and ultimately yielding more food per acre of land. Over the last 40 years, there’s been a steady uptick in the amount of food we harvest from each acre.
At the same time, food has become more affordable for most of the world…
The increasing efficiency of our agricultural production has helped make food more affordable. Since 1975, as global incomes have increased and agriculture become more efficient, food has become a smaller portion of household expenditures.
Which has, in turn, led to striking progress against childhood malnutrition
The trend towards more affordable food has had a profound impact on childhood malnutrition globally. This critical global health indicator has been steadily improving for the past two decades.