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Misconceptions About Agriculture

February 4, 2010

Issue:   Globally, hunger is caused by a shortage of food.               

This is a misconception. Hunger is caused by economic, political and social reason more than all other causes.

  • The world produces enough food to feed everyone.
  • Even Africa produces enough food to feed that continent.
  • Hunger is caused by poverty ─ in this country and elsewhere.
  • Hunger may also be intentional ─ It may be induced for political or social reasons.
  • Poverty creates the inability to:

-purchase food;

-safely store food; or

-transport food in areas where drought occurs.

Issue:   More wheat is directly consumed by humans than any other grain.    

This is true.

  • Wheat is the grain most widely consumed directly by humans.
  • This is true even in China.

Wheat is the world’s major cereal crop accounting for 31 percent of the global cereal consumed directly by humans.  Rice consumption is just 21 percent of the direct human consumption and dropping.  Occasionally, rice consumption outstrips wheat consumption but that is becoming much less likely as wheat consumption continues to climb and rice consumption declines.

Source: Center for Global Food Issues, The Hudson Institute.  

Misconceptions About Agriculture is provided by American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

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