Monday, January 11, 2016

How many are hungry?

Living on Earth radio show
Air Date: Week of January 8, 2016


Frances Moore Lappé
Typically, what we hear and about all we hear is about the yearly count from the food and agricultural organization of the United Nations, and that count is based on calories alone, and to be among that 800 million roughly now, you have to have experienced hunger for more than a year. In other words, if you are calorie deficient for three months between harvests, but not over the year, your calories average out to adequacy, then you're not counted. The real point here is that this official count is about calories alone. And we live in a world in which calories and nutrition are parting ways. And if you look at it that way, then you have to look at the World Health Organization, for example, who tells us that two billion of us are deficient in at least one nutrient essential to health. For example, one out of five maternal deaths is related to iron deficiency. So we make the case that the world should be focused on what we call nutritional deprivation, and that includes both calorie and nutrient deficiency.


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