The present reports of serious world hunger and shortages of major nutrients needed by humans should alert us to the present and future serious problems concerning the continuing inadequacy of the world food supply. According to the World Health Organization more than 3.7 billion people are malnourished. This is the largest number and proportion of malnourished people ever reported! The World Health Organization, in assessing malnutrition, identifies the deficiencies of calories, protein, iron, iodine, and vitamins A, B, C, and D.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations confirms that food per capita has been declining since 1984, based on available cereal grains. This is especially alarming because cereal grains have long made up about 80% of the world's food supply. Although grain yields per hectare in both developed and developing countries are still increasing, their rate of increase is slowing, while the world population and its food needs escalate. Specifically from 1950 to 1980, US grain yields increased at about 3% per year, but since 1980 the annual rate of increase for grains is only about 1%.
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