Industrial Food: The Solution to Global Hunger
Hunger and malnutrition are some of the significant threats to the health of many in the world today. The solutions to this challenge will be complex but must address the issue in the long-term. The answer must also include a strong collaboration between the public and private sector. Like many other sectors, the prevailing conditions cause people to start finding solutions to some of the problems affecting humanity. The farmers have developed an industrial food system to satisfy the demand and sustain life even in adverse climatic conditions. Still, while production is sustainable, preserving and distributing food to the consumer may pose a challenge to the farmer. An industrial food system can, thus, play a vital role in preservation and distribution. The system receives the food from the farmer and processes it safely and in compliance with the national food standards. It then packages and distributes it to the consumer. The purpose of this paper is to sensitize policymakers all over the world that people do not have to die of hunger and undernutrition.
Recently, the number of individuals suffering from malnutrition and hunger increased to one billion, with the most plagued being from less developed nations. The results of newly published studies on undernutrition and famine in 2008 confirmed that food and micronutrients deficiencies led to the continual development, as well as intellectual outcomes. Also, there exist intimate links between hunger and malnutrition and cardiovascular diseases and the onset of diabetes. Research by the United Nations recently showed that more than 155 million children around the globe are chronically malnourished, despite the improvements through the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a sign that the world’s most favored system has not managed to eliminate hunger or address its main causes (Floros et al. 574). This calls for the greater empowerment of both farmers and the consumers, which can only be done through partnerships with various actors in the agriculture and food sector.
The financial and economic crisis has stimulated discussions about the future role of business as pertains to social problems such as hunger. There has been a growing acceptance of the need to come up with new models that will help generate financial returns for sustainable growth while improving the health of the population along with the environment. This initiative is what IndraNooyi of PepsiCo has called “performance with purpose.” Another person involved is Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft and Co-Founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who has termed it as “creative capitalism,” while the founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus has called it the “evolution of social business.” This outlook has created a push for food processors to challengestarvation and it goes beyond philanthropy (Falk et al. 1384). There are several actions that industrial food companies can take, which will have a substantial impact on the current state of global food crisis.
1. To what extent can the current interventions address global hunger and undernutrition?
2. How can we change the ways we use fresh food in the globe to better provide for the needs of the entire global population?
3. What policy changes can be made at national and international levels to improve the quality of lives of communities of the world?
Although opponents of industrial food say that it is expensive and can be unsafe, the food is cheap and convenient. The consumer can buy the food from the nearest store. Besides, the process that the food goes through and the fact that it goes through regulation standards, it is safer than unprocessed food. The food is processed in the industrial setting in large quantities and must go through inspection since a large population will consume it. Harper &Aikaterini argue that large-scale production lowers the cost. This way, the processor can fix prices that are affordable to the consumer. The producers can take advantage of the mass production to demand lower prices. Since they reach the customers, they can invest in widening the market to ensure that people are buying their products daily. This lowers the prices of food and ensures that it is affordable to a lot of consumers (Harper &Aikaterini 293). It is also imperative to remember that the industrial processing also improves the quality of food making it more nutritious to consumers.
The World Economic Forum also says that global hunger has resulted in hidden hunger, also known as micronutrients deficiency. Many people in the world today lack essential minerals and vitamins in their diet. The deficiency affects more than two billion people in the world and has contributed to the poor cognitive development, complications in pregnancy and during childbirth, stunted growth, and increased infections (Yach et al. 979). Micronutrients deficiencies also have a negative impact on the social and economic aspect of economies. In the past, organizations have provided affected populations with supplements to including improve their health. However, it has been noted by nutrition experts that supplements do not address the inherent cause of dietary inadequacy. Another solution to the problem is food fortification, where processors use nutrients to increase the nutritional quality of food. They add micronutrients to the primary stage of processing commonly consumed food to ensure that the consumer acquires some of the essential vitamins and minerals (Floros et al. 574). Food fortification can only be made possible through industrial food processing, and it does not require people to change their current eating habits.
A substantial amount of food does not reach the populations it is intended to feed. Also, there is irregularconsideration to quality control, which challenges people’s nutrtion gains. Few cases have now been recounted of aflatoxin present in peanut-based food. Global beverage companies have the unique capability of reaching billions of people in their geographical locations. The governments and international organizations can use these capabilities to bring nutrition to the people that need it most. It is funny that some organizations complain that they some regions are inaccessible while beverage companies such as Coca-cola and PepsiCo have managed to reach even the most interior communities. Their approach can be used, but by food, industries to reach the most marginalized groups. The food being distributed can be fortified to help these people acquire some of the nutrients they lack in their daily consumption. The only kind of food that can reach these populations is industrial food, which is packaged and preserved (Falk et al. 1384). It does not matter how many days it takes to reach the population since it stays fresh for long and cannot be contaminated.
Technological capabilities have made it possible for companies to conduct research, innovate, and expand the current food base. About 178 million children are affected by stunting all over the globe. Research has expressed the need to address the needs of children who are younger than two years. Health experts argue that a baby should be breastfed for the first six months in an ideal world. In reality, however, many mothers breastfeed their babies for the first month and replace it with less optimal foods. The consequences are a dramatic reduction in a child’s nutrition status during the early years of growth. The UN World Food Program’s executive director has noted that governments should provide companies with inventive to help them create a broad range of nutritious weaning foods. Mothers cannot give their children unprocessed food since some can be too strong and unsafe for consumption (Harper &Aikaterini 293). Food companies, however, can provide healthy weaning food for mothers, especially those who suffer from chronic and acute undernutrition and ensure that breastfeeding improves.
Organizations are in a better position to conduct research that will result in innovative models to increase food supply. Today, business has become social in that they conduct their operations in a way that solves social problems. The government should encourage the establishment of food companies whose aim is to solve social problems and not to make money for the owners. According to the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Muhammad Yunus, the profits should remain within the organization and used to increase the establishment’s reach and increase the food quality. If the dynamism and efficiency could be used to address hunger, significant improvements can be made in regards to food security and nutrition. Partnerships can play a crucial role in empowering food companies to help eradicate hunger and undernutrition (Floros et al. 574). Some companies are already working to deliver foods with needed nutrients to some of the malnourished groups in the world such as in Bangladesh.
Food prices have continued to rise in the last few years as a result of increasing population and climate change. The increase in food prices has a severe impact on the status of nutrition among populations. The dramatic rise of food prices in the last few years is a threat to the world’s nutrition and food security. As Yach et al. notes, lack of enough food and nutrition generates a mass of human rights, humanitarian, socioeconomic, developmental, ecological, governmental, and safety challenges. The rise in food prices does not only cause people to lack food but also pushes millions of others to poverty. In fact, in the United States, the rising food prices have resulted in a deficit between the cost of a healthy diet and maximum food stamps benefits. The number of food stamp recipients in the United States has risen immensely in the last several years, and one can only imagine the impacts on less developed nations (Yach et al. 978). Food companies, however, can help solve this problem by helping the population access nutritious foods.
Also, leaders in public health and industrial food companies are in the best position to address global agricultural subsidies. They support the next globe’s roundtable and have the capacity to bring this change. While the governments may rely on food companies to help address food insecurity, it is responsible for providing subsidies to farmers and these companies to help them produce their foods at affordable prices. The change to the archaic system may bring about the excellent gain for farmers in developing nations. If the companies manage it correctly, it could boost food production and reduce hunger in developing countries in the long run. In a recent G8 meeting, global leaders called for increased investments of both the public and private sector in agriculture. PepsiCo is one of the companies supporting reforms of the current policies and is supporting critical groups of producers including sunflower and oat farmers in the effort to balance subsidies (Harper &Aikaterini 293). Industrial foods are paving a way to lower food prices and nutrition, the consequences of which the globe is already enjoying.
Finally, although many argue that food storage is a challenge in developing nations, food companies can address that. Indeed, some communities have limited availability of refrigeration since it requires energy and specialized equipment for use in transporting some foods such as milk and meat to retail shops and storing food in homes. This makes distribution and storage difficult, and the population in rural areas requires technology to help them overcome the challenge. Tetra Pak, however, has developed an innovative, the aseptic packaging, to address the problem. This kind of packaging ensures that food and milk can stay for six months without preservatives or refrigeration. Mothers in the United States and Canada are enjoying aseptic packaging because it allows them to store milk boxes together in the diaper bags without worry that the milk will spoil. These technologies by food companies are playing a crucial role in ensuring that foods of all kind reach the consumer when still fresh. Also, the consumer can store the food for up to six months without worry that the food will perish. Safe food technology also plays a crucial role in mitigating the impacts of food insecurity and malnutrition in areas where refrigeration may not be an option (Falk et al. 1384). Therefore, industrial food processors are helping populations eliminate the challenges resulting from food insecurity.
Industrial foods are a solution to global hunger as many experts will agree. First, they make food available to populations. Farmers may have a challenge distributing food to consumers, but food and drinks companies have been doing it for decades, even to the most marginalized communities. Second, they can advocate for better food prices through incentives. Along with public health departments, the food companies are in a position to ask governments for incentives on agricultural products, which reduce their production costs resulting in favorable prices. Third, food companies can come up with social models that focus on meeting the needs of the society. The profits made from food sales are used to reach the populations affected by food insecurity. Also, food companies can come up with innovations that will help consumers get their favorite foods at affordable costs and safe packaging.
Works citedFalk, Michael C., et al. “Food biotechnology: benefits and concerns.” The Journal of Nutrition 132.6 (2002): 1384-1390.Floros, John D., et al. “Feeding the world today and tomorrow: the importance of food science and technology.” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety9.5 (2010): 572-599.Harper, Gemma C., and AikateriniMakatouni. “Consumer perception of organic food production and farm animal welfare.” British Food Journal 104.3/4/5 (2002): 287-299.Yach, Derek et al. “Can The Food Industry Help Tackle The Growing Global Burden Of Undernutrition?.” American Journal of Public Health 100.6 (2010): 974-980. Web.Surname1Name:Instructor:Course:Date:Industrial Food: The Solution to Global HungerHunger and malnutrition are some of the significant threats to the health of many in theworld today. The solutions to this challenge will be complex but must address the issuein thelong-term. The answer must also include a strong collaboration between the public and privatesector. Like many other sectors, the prevailing conditions cause people to start finding solutionsto some of the problems affecting humanity. The farmershave developed an industrial foodsystem to satisfy the demand and sustain life even in adverse climatic conditions. Still, whileproduction is sustainable, preserving and distributing food to the consumer may pose a challengeto the farmer. An industrialfood system can, thus, play a vital role in preservation anddistribution. The system receives the food from the farmer and processes it safely and incompliance with the national food standards. It then packages and distributes it to the consumer.The purpose of this paper is to sensitize policymakers all over the world that people do not haveto die of hunger and undernutrition.Recently, the number of individuals suffering from malnutrition and hunger increasedtoone billion, with the most plagued being fromless developed nations. The results of newlypublished studies on undernutrition and famine in 2008 confirmed that food and micronutrientsdeficiencies led to the continual development, as well as intellectual outcomes. Also, there exist
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