Can the earth provide enough food for 9 billion people?
Increasing food prices and its shortage have people worried all over the world and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has warned that the food crisis could set off a disastrous chain of events worldwide.
The UN's World Food Program has also come out with a warning that increasing food prices will affect a large number of people and it will only be able to feed 60 percent of the number of people it had originally hoped. That could mean up to 100,000 people will now go without.
The world is an odd place. A tight global food situation with record-high grain prices presents the possibility of increasing malnutrition, perhaps famine, in parts of Africa and South Asia. Yet an estimated 1.6 billion adults, about a quarter of the world's 6.7 billion people, are overweight, some of them obese.
As a result, chubby Americans are spending roughly $1 billion a year to lose a few pounds with special diets, treadmills, etc., while hundreds of millions in poor nations are scrambling to buy enough food to add a little weight. "You couldn't write any stranger fiction," says Joseph Chamie, former head of the United Nation's Population Division.