Hunger myth-busting 2
Five more myths about global hunger, debunked
Last week we presented five common myths about hunger. This week we’ve got five more to debunk and demystify.
1. Myth: People are only hungry during disasters
Reality: The World Food Programme reports that emergency disasters account for only eight percent of world hunger. That means the vast majority of hungry people suffer from hunger on a chronic, day-to-day basis. It might not be breaking news like a famine that happens when food supplies are cut during war, but it’s this silent, ongoing hunger that is most prevalent.
2. Myth: Nature is to blame for hunger
Reality: Natural causes, such as droughts, floods and earthquakes, can have a devastating impact on hunger. But it’s too easy to blame nature. Man-made causes – poor irrigation systems, inefficient storage facilities, land overuse, war – are just as destructive. In fact, the number of food crises linked to human causes has more than doubled since 1992.
3. Myth: Hunger happens when there isn’t enough food in stores and markets
Reality: The food is usually there. But most hungry people cannot afford the food that’s sitting on their store shelves. In 2007, soaring food prices raised the cost of maize by 74 percent and the cost of rice went up by 166 percent. Prices have fallen somewhat, but remain high.
4. Myth: Large-scale farming is the only way to feed the world
Reality: There is broad agreement that small farmers, and not large-scale farmers, are the key to feeding the world. Accumulated research shows that agricultural cooperatives, groups of small farmers working together, boost food security by providing local producers with the tools they need. Since community agricultural coops were formed in southwest Honduras, malnutrition rates there have dropped steadily.
5. Myth: Hunger is an unsolvable problem
Reality: This has to be the biggest myth of all. Check the official statistics, and you’ll see that we’re already taking vast strides towards solving world hunger. With the steady will of ordinary people just like us, hunger can be eliminated so that no man, woman, or child need ever go to bed hungry again.
So now that you recognize these common myths for what they are, visit the rest of our Get Involved page to see what 10 things you can do to contribute to the end of hunger in our lifetime.