Why is demand for food growing?
Food demand has grown over time. With increasing population growth and the industrial and economic development of LICs and NEEs the demand for different food products has also increased.
The greatest pressure on the world’s resources, such as food, is global population growth. The world’s population has grown exponentially over the last 150 years.
Where are the areas of fastest population growth?
The uneven growth of population is causing problems for food supply. As you can see from the graph below there are huge differences in the rates of population growth. Africa’s population is increasing by 2.51 per cent per year, whereas the population of Europe is growing by only 0.1 per cent per year.
Within each region, there are also considerable differences at the country level.
The map below shows the areas of the world where there is a real risk of hunger due to a lack of food. If you link this to the graph showing population growth above and the map showing calorie intake there is a clear correlation between areas of the greatest population growth and the areas with the highest levels of undernourishment and low calorie intake.
As countries become more developed their diets change. Consumption of meat increases compared to grains such as rice. Grain is more likely to be consumed by animals to produce meat for humans. This leads to an increase in demand for food resources to feed the population of the country. The map below shows the increase in meat consumption by region over time.
The map below shows the relationship between GPD and meat consumption. As you can see there is a clear correraltion in that as GDP increases, so does meat consumption.
Also, as a country becomes richer, the demand for fruit also increases. There is a clear correlation between GDP and fruit demand as shown in the scatter graph below.
Additionally, the demand for processed and convenience foods increases with wealth. This also leads to an increase in calorie intake.