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Modern Population and Food Supply

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  • Pages: 10
  • Word count: 2384
  • Category: Survival

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Hunger continues to be an ever-present companion of many millions of people. Although the farmers of the world have grown more food, they have not grown enough more to correct the serious undernutrition which has long existed in many countries. Since the end of World War II, food production has increased about as rapidly as world population, but it increased more rapidly in the richer, betterfed countries, while the poorer countries lagged behind. Two-thirds of the world’s 3.3 billion people live in countries with national average diets which are nutritionally inadequate. The diet-deficient countries generally have high rates of population growth, about 2.1 per cent per year compared with about 1.3 per cent per year in the diet-adequate areas. In recent years the gap in available food supplies per person between the rich and the poor countries has been widening rather than narrowing. A growing share of the increase of population in the less developed countries is being sustained by food shipments from the developed regions, especially North America.

The possibilities of increasing food production are very large, and they are primarily dependent on increasing the yields of crops and of livestock. New methods, new strains of plants, improved methods of cultivation, greatly increased use of fertilizers, and greater and more effective use of water are major elements in increasing yields. Nonconventional sources of food may in the future add significantly to available food supplies. In many countries, institutional changes are necessary in order to enable farmers to benefit directly from increased production and to make available the information, credit, tools, and supplies needed to increase yields. Rising educational levels are an essential element in programs for such increases.

In the journal article, Population and Food Supply, the main idea is reducing the rate at which the population is growing to be able to fully nourish the population of all of the countries in the world. The food situation the world is having is that two thirds of the population is undernourished, especially in poorer countries. As the wealthier continues to increase and consume more food, that leaves the others with less and less food to consume and leaves millions without food. Although the wealthy are usually not the ones continuously increasing the population, the part of the population that has high rates of population growth are mostly ones with a food deficiency. The whole relationship between food supply and population growth is almost like a domino effect that never really ends. As the population increases, the food supply must increase. For the food supply to increase, there must be more land for there to be farms and industrial buildings to distribute to the growing population. The growing population has made it difficult though since they need land to live on. As it gets more expensive to grow the food supply, the price increases. The price increase leads to more millions of people, especially in less developed countries.

Over the past few decades, food production has increased in less developed countries but so has the population. In recent times, the food production per person was, on average, below in countries, especially in less developed countries, which Taeuber supported with data. If the food supplies and the population continue to increase together, the population will have more competition for survival and their quality of life will severely decrease. To prevent this from happening, Taeuber recommends that the world utilizes technology and knowledge of agriculture to increase the food production and meet the needs of the growing population. The goal is to have the supplies and resources in the right place at the right time to increase the food supply all over the world. In 1967, each continent had to increase its fertilizer use anywhere from 3 to 10 million to obtain the amount of food supply needed in 1980. Although most of journal article put emphasis on increasing just crop production, livestock production also must be increased. Taeuber recommends utilizing the fish resources we have to meet the requirements of protein and would majorly contribute to deficient diets, especially because it is readily available to us. Using what is available will save money and time, instead of pushing for foods that may not be the easiest to fulfill our diets.

One last thing that Taeuber pointed out is that to make all of these increases with food production is that trading and costs of food may be an issue. The United States holds major value to the other countries that are not as food efficient. The United States has to work with other developed countries to trade food across the world and help with the old issue of feeding the hungry. This is an important piece to overcoming the major population increase conflict with food supply.

The research conducted in this article adds to my understanding of sociology by providing new information on how the society has a major influence on the conflict between the food supply and growing population. Our society really needs to work together as one to work through the ways like Taeuber recommended to figure out this issue. Population growth is a social factor that will begin to affect society’s lifestyles. Our food supply will cause deaths, hunger, stress and many other ways to change how we live today.

Using data from the Food and Agricultural Organization and some other sources, it was estimated that rapid population growth in countries with an initial average calorie availability of below 2800 per head inhibited improvements in food production and availability per head during the 1980s and early 1990s. There were statistically significant negative effects of population growth on the growth in the production of noncereal food crops, milk, and meat, and in total food production. Because net food imports and aid shipments of cereals responded similarly, rather than acting as compensatory factors, the development in total calorie availability per head was least satisfactory in countries with the most rapid growth. A rapid increase in the number of adults of working age appeared to be no less disadvantageous than an increase in the number of children or elderly. Weaker effects were found when the entire 1970-95 period was considered. There were few indications that poverty, illiteracy, or land or water scarcity made it particularly difficult to cope with a growing population.

In the journal article, Has population growth restricted improvements in food availability per head 1970-95, Kravdal starts off by stating how global food production has kept up with the drastic increase in the population, but a majority of the population is still hungry. The population growth has caused a need for food, yet it is not a need for more production of food. A study by Dyson was used in the journal article proving that there was no correlation between population growth and food production. Although, in many ways, population growth still affects food. To survive population growth, more food is needed. Farmers decide to work to produce more food to feed themselves first and then sell the crops to others to receive an income. Producing more crops causes more land to be used, as well as water and fertilizer. The cost is more so they sell it for more money. The rest of society buy the food produced by the farmer by working for an income first. Multiple processes are affected by the increase of population growth. Food is imported, exported, caught, killed, harvested, traded, and grown. New technologies will help make the processes run smoother and the stress from the population growth will ease.

Socioeconomic, environmental and political variables all are involved in determining the availability of food and population. Knowledge of agriculture helps sustainably because those who understand farming and how to produce crops are able to yield more crops. As farmers with that knowledge decrease, the number of crops yielded decrease. The environment impacts the amount of food because water and land are not endless. Water has been scarce in the recent decades and has caused problems for farmers in the past. The amount of land offered to farmers is also very small. As the population grows, the amount of land decreases. Less land is made available for farming.

Strong relationships with other countries is also needed to trade crops and move food to other countries, especially the less developed. Without a strong relationship with other countries, the issue of hunger would worsen. Demographics also impact food supply. If there are more adults, more food is needed. If there are more kids than adults, less food is needed because adults consume more food than children. With all of the research found in the article, Kravdal concluded that population growth has no impact. The amount of calorie intake is the real cause of the problem of food availability. The countries that have increased their population growth have also increased their food production. More land, more water, and more money are used in these countries to supply food to the population.

The research conducted in this article adds to my understanding of sociology by providing new information on how actual parts of sociology are used in the real world. Many parts of sociology affect society’s everyday lives and population growth and food supply are a macro part of it. There are many micro parts of the world that affect the macro ideas. Economics, demographics, education, environment and politics are all impacting population growth and how the food supply reacts and vice versa. The study provided multiple forms of research to back up the idea that population growth does not require more production of food, but just a need for more food. Society always keeps wanting more and more. One day, hopefully, society will figure out that we need less instead of more and the need for more food and hunger will be solved.

Human population growth has been identified as a primary cause of ecologically destructive phenomena and, if left unchecked, will threaten the survivability of the human species. It has been demonstrated that genetic feedback is the mechanism by which species achieve ecological balance. The present analysis shows the applicability of this mechanism to human population regulation. In this model, the traits of behavior and culture are explained as following a four-step process, similar to, and nested within genetic evolution. As species extinction is part and parcel of evolution, and environmental circumstances are changing rapidly, the population regulatory change that would take place on the genetic level of integration would be human extinction. However, the change on the cultural level, requiring a revision of the social contingency from ‘food production must be increased to feed a growing population’ to ‘food production increases causes population increases,’ would lead to human sustainability.

In the article, Genetic Feedback and Human Population Regulation, Hopfenberg begins out by stating that the main issue he wants to discuss is the increasing population is the cause of all the environmental issues. One of the main environmental issues is the food production. The number of humans has more than doubled since 1960 and with that food production has as well. The issue isn’t that we don’t have enough food for the population because that was realized as soon as the baby boomers began. The issue is that the amount of food intake per person increased by 400 in just 41 years. The number of crops and livestock fully exceeds the amount of people in the world, but it doesn’t exceed the amount of food each person is consuming.

As we continue to increase our food intake, the food production must increase with it to fulfill our hunger. As the amount in resources increases, especially food production, there will always be an issue of an increase in population. The increase then leads to habitat destruction and loss of ecosystems. Humans already use up half of the total biomass, leaving the rest to the world. Other species will begin to become extinct, land will be loss to agriculture and above all, humanity will destroy our ecosystem. There will be less food for humans to consume and surviving from hunger will be a large competition around the world. Resources will continue to be scarce because the amount of resources will not be able to keep up with the amount consumed. The stability of our environment will decrease, and the population will finally begin to decrease due to the lack of resources. The population will not be able to rise again until the resources are brought back again. The amount of human impact on the environment needs to change in order to be back in a balance with the environment in which we live.

The fast increase of the population is just increasing and speeding up the many environmental problems the world has. Social contingencies within the society has caused things to be believed like we have to increase food production to feed the increasing population. The society needs to realize that we need to slow down the increase on its agriculture and limit the growth of the population. The population will continue until it hits its carrying capacity and will no longer be able to support the population. There will be very limited resources and the environment will be at its worst. The human extinction may come one day but it is society’s job today to prevent that from happening.

The research conducted in this article adds to my understanding of sociology by providing new information on how the population has totally impacted the world. Our quality of life will decrease and with an unchecked population growth society will ultimately lead to starvation and death. Our society impacts the growth of the population and we need to realize that our population needs to decrease before the worst occurs and society needs to fully understand what is causing a population growth. Although before I thought that we needed to find ways to increase the food production, our society needs to decrease the amount they are actually consuming because it has impacted how others live and will soon affect how those who are not dealing with hunger soon will. Environmental sociology is an important term that evaluates how the environment influences society and how society influences the environment. Environmental sociology is fairly important as the population continues to increase because we must watch how we impact the environment and in turn, the environment will impact society right back.

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