World Food Day ’09- Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis


Photo by: Bernat

“In the next 50 years we will need to produce as much food as has been consumed over our entire human history. That means in the working life of my children, more grain than ever produced since the Egyptians, more fish than eaten to date, more milk than from all the cows that have ever been milked on every frosty morning humankind has ever known.”

~Megan Clark – head of Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, (CSIRO).

Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus. This year’s theme is:  

Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis.

At a time when the global economic crisis dominates the news, the world needs to be reminded that not everyone works in offices and factories. The crisis is stalking the small-scale farms and rural areas of the world, where 70 percent of the world’s hungry live and work.

With an estimated increase of 105 million hungry people in 2009, there are now 1.02 billion malnourished people in the world, meaning that almost one sixth of all humanity is suffering from hunger.

~ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

I’m not sure how aware most people are when it comes to food security, mostly because people in wealthy nations see food as trivial, something that is available on supermarket shelves in large quantities and resupplied on a regular basis. Unlike previous generations, most of us are no longer participants in the production of our own food. We are relying on an increasingly industrialised model of food production which leaves us with little redundancy if anything should go wrong. Personally, I can see many areas in which things could go wrong, particularly when you consider environmental degradation (water, topsoil) and increasing energy prices (oil, natural gas).

I intend to dedicate a World-Changing Wednesday post to food in the near future, but I couldn’t let World Food Day pass without mention.


  1. Oh, but you forgot about the seed vault! Maybe it is the fact that Monsanto, Dow and others supply 3rd world nations with terminator seed crops that require them to buy more seed rather than harvest and replant from their own crops? Don’t forget about the chemicals to keep away the bugs. Oh, that’s right, the same companies.

  2. You are completely right ahrcanum. What Monsanto (and other big Ag companies) are doing is scary. I haven’t made mention of that in todays post because I think the issue needs its very own post. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll discuss some of the biggest issues I see with our food system.

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