Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Availability of food increases as countries' dependence on food trade grows

Date:
December 19, 2013
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
Sufficient food is available for increasing numbers of people, but at the same time, the dependence of countries on international trade in foodstuffs has increased considerably in 40 years. The proportion of the population who get enough food (more than 2,500 calories a day) has nearly doubled to 61 per cent. Those living on a critically low food supply (less than 2,000 calories a day) have shrunk from 51 to three per cent.

Graph about food availability and food trade.
Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto University

Sufficient food is available for increasing numbers of people, but at the same time, the dependence of countries on international trade in foodstuffs has increased considerably in 40 years. The proportion of the population who get enough food (more than 2,500 calories a day) has nearly doubled to 61 per cent. Those living on a critically low food supply (less than 2,000 calories a day) have shrunk from 51 to three per cent.

Related Articles


The figures come out in a study made at Aalto University in Finland examining developments in food availability and food self-sufficiency in 1965-2005. Researchers of Aalto University examined the development of food availability in recent decades for the first time.

Food availability has improved especially in the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, China, and Southeast Asia. Although food availability has increased on the global level, food self-sufficiency has remained relatively low.

"In the 1960s and 1970s, insufficient food production in a country amounted to food shortage, but nowadays the production deficit is increasingly balanced through food imports," says Aalto University researcher Miina Porkka.

The proportion of people living in countries that are significant net importers of food has more than tripled during the period under examination. The countries of North Africa and the Middle East, for instance, have become increasingly dependent on imported food. In these countries, food availability has increased from low to a very high level, even though domestic food production has remained inadequate.

Brazil, on the other hand, has become one of the world's most important producers of food for export. In the 1960s, food supply in the country was still inadequate, but in the past decades Brazilian food production has grown exponentially and food consumption is now more than sufficient.

The study also examined dietary changes that have taken place in different countries. The proportion of people consuming large amounts (more than 15 per cent of energy intake) of animal-based nutrition has increased from 33 per cent to more than 50 per cent. This together with over consumption of calories in many countries is putting an increased pressure on the planet's limited natural resources. At the same time, however, over a third of the world's population is still living with insufficient food supply.

This study was published in PLOS ONE journal. The study was conducted by the researchers from Aalto University in Finland and University of Bonn in Germany. The research was financed by Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry., the Academy of Finland and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Miina Porkka, Matti Kummu, Stefan Siebert, Olli Varis. From Food Insufficiency towards Trade Dependency: A Historical Analysis of Global Food Availability. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (12): e82714 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082714

Cite This Page:

Aalto University. "Availability of food increases as countries' dependence on food trade grows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082800.htm>.
Aalto University. (2013, December 19). Availability of food increases as countries' dependence on food trade grows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082800.htm
Aalto University. "Availability of food increases as countries' dependence on food trade grows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219082800.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins