For centuries, people have relied on farming as a staple source of food.
“The satiated man and the hungry one do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.” - Rumi, poet.
How many of us will ever know real hunger? Hunger of the kind that swallows your belly and claws at the spine, or the lethargy and depression of prolonged malnutrition. Somewhere beyond the comfort of so many of our modern lives, 1.1 billion people live with hunger as a perpetual houseguest as they scrabble for the basics of survival on less than $1 a day. Starvation has prowled just beyond the light of the campfire and stalked through our settlements as long as humanity's ancestors have been walking upright.
Through the years, climate change has not only endangered all living ecosystems, biospheres and individual species, but their food supply as well. Increased droughts, wildfires and decreased rainfall has greatly influenced how the world produces food.
SouthAfrica.co.za looks at the history of food, the endless cycles of food shortages, famine and the regeneration of nourishment in the modern world. It also explores the state of food today, and how global warming affects food security and the economically vulnerable.
By Leonie Joubert
Drought has been the mainstay behind food insecurity and famine in Africa during the past three decades, which does not bode well for the region in a changing climate....more
Surely, our great advances in modern transportation and global communication, must come to the rescue of every skeletal child at the short end of decades of food shortages and war? Surely the Green Revolution will save the world's hungry? ...more
By the time Northern Hemisphere ice began to retreat at the end of the most recent glacial period, we had long mastered our opposable thumbs....more
Man’s struggle with food started early. In parts of Europe, unusual amounts of rain fell in the early 14th century, submerging many crops....more
The one thing that characterises all famines - those which took place in the 1300s, and those which happen today in Africa - is that the poor carry the full weight of catastrophe....more
The strapping Nordic Vikings, who at the height of their achievement averaged 1.7 metres tall (which was pretty tall for the time), shrunk to under 1.52 metres tall....more