Roger Thurow and Jay Solomon report on the front page of today’s WSJ that people worried about hunger have finally noticed that contemporary hunger is much more tied to a lack of income among the hungry than it is to inadequate food to nourish the population. (What’ll they discover next? That the Earth isn’t flat after all?)
In some places, governments and NGOs have even taken the next logical step: instead of trying to improve the lot of landless rural laborers by improving crop yields, they’re trying to figure out ways for those landless laborers to earn enough money to buy a decent diet for themselves and their families.
The article contains a statistic I hadn’t seen before: total world food production per capita is now at the 2800-Calorie-per-day level. (That’s what a teenaged boy or a man doing physical labor needs; the rest of us need less.)
Like everyone else my age, I grew up believing that the 1950s and 1960s were just the calm before the Malthusian storm. The WorldWatch Institute would like us to keep believing that, but it’s pretty obviously not true.
Now we can worry about something else instead.