How a worldwide food shortage could affect your family

It’s really difficult to think about the world ever running out of food from my cozy apartment in New York City. I have three grocery stores within a couple blocks of each other and, although I have to budget a lot, I know that I’ll never really go hungry. With the huge availability of food at my fingertips, I never think that there could ever be a food shortage throughout the world. But that time may come sooner than any of us realize, according to a new report from the United Nations.

What are they predicting, exactly? Well, with the world’s population set to grow to nearly nine billion people by 2040, it would mean that 3 billion people are living in poverty. The demand for resources will grow so high that, even by 2030, the world will need at least 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water. We all know that the biggest places to suffer will be the third world countries, like in Latin America, that so many of us once called home.


The UN’s high-level panel on global sustainability says that efforts toward sustainable development are neither fast enough for deep enough, adding that:

"The current global development model is un-sustainable. To achieve sustainability, a transformation of the global economy is required. Tinkering on the margins will not do the job. The cur-rent global economic crisis ... offers an opportunity for significant reforms."

Although I’m already doing as much as I can to live a more sustainable life, like buying fair-trade chocolate, I also wonder when we as a country are going to face up to the current global economy. I don’t want to see my family members in Cuba suffer and go into poverty. I don’t want to see it happen in my Hispanic-dominated community here, either. While the UN makes 56 recommendations for sustainable development, I ask: will a “new political economy” ever happen?

What do you think of this warning from the UN? Are you doing anything to live a more sustainable life?

Image via macisaguy/flickr