The global demand for food

Food is one example of how globalisation has influenced society. The food supply chain is complex and involves more countries than ever before. For example, rice grown in Thailand may be packaged in India and sold in a supermarket in the UK.

There is also a growing issue of food shortages in some countries. The reasons for this are:

  • Bigger population numbers - the global population increases by 75 million people each year.
  • More income - many people in countries such as Brazil and China are becoming richer. As income increases people demand more meat and dairy produce. The animals eat the grain that could have been sold on the market. It takes five times as much grain to produce one kilo of meat.
  • More extreme weather - droughts and extreme rainfall ruin crops so fewer crops can be sold on the global food market.

Food consumption

At a global scale, food consumption is very uneven. Some MEDCs have many problems relating to the over consumption of food. These include heart disease and obesity.

In LEDCs, undernutrition is a problem. 76% of the population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are undernourished.

Global map contrasting different levels of nourishment