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We All Need Food

Global-food.jpg (Demaio, 2013, https://popularresistance.org/five-reasons-why-food-is-a-      massive-global-health-issue/).

Food and Sustainability in Third World Countries

Good crop yields help feed families and communities; agriculture production is heavily impacted by climate, water availability, disease, and poor weather conditions (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d. https://hope-international.com/donate/food-self-reliance/more-about-food.html). Poor weather conditions cause problems for all food producers, however the difference between developed countries and developing countries is that, developed countries have the resources available to solve problems caused by extreme weather conditions (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Moreover, developing countries tend to have problems accessing land that is fertile, thus, makes it difficult to maintain a sustainable crop field (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Also, due to a lack of farm technology and resources that can improve farming techniques, problems of soil depletion create additional food issues (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Moreover, many people lack access to food and water because of economic, agricultural policies, and governmental policies failure (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). In addition, the food produced in developing countries does not stay within the countries. The food ends up being exported to foreign markets due to political and economic impacts (HOPE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, n.d.). Thus, the failures of these parties result in countries with a lack of food distribution (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.).

Cuba’s Food Dilemma

Cuba is a country that has had to learn how to be for the most part self-sustainable when it comes to food or lack of it.  Since the U.S., embargo and the breakdown of the U.S.S.R. imports to this country have become more expensive and less accessible (Miroff, 2015, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/31/organic-food-           revolution-farming-cuba-restaurants). Products like milk, eggs, produce and meats are provided to citizens through a ration book system that is very limited and is unable to provide enough food (Miroff, 2015). Grocery shopping in Cuba is not a one stop and shop deal, there are times you can spend a whole day going to many different stores in many different areas just to get what is needed to eat for a week.

Cuba is a country that runs on a dual currency system, one being the National Peso for their citizens and one being the Convertible Peso for tourists which is worth twenty-five percent more than their own.  This system has made it impossible for even the most educated citizen to survive with the average salary being only around twenty-five dollars a month (Miroff, 2015).  This wage issue has caused doctors, lawyers and some of the more prominent workers to find part time jobs in the tourist industry in order to get some convertible pesos to provide food for their families.

The brighter side to this situation comes from the C.E.O. Cuban Minister of Agriculture, Manuel Rodriguez when he states there is no future for the likes of Monsanto or any other corporation trying to bring genetically modified Organisms to their country (Havana Times, 2015, http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=112027).  The lack of access to fertilizers and pesticides has allowed Cuba’s agriculture to remain eighty percent organic.  Furthermore, since taking over for his brother President Raul Castro has given unproductive state land over to farmers and cooperatives in an attempt to generate more food for their country.  With the embargos lifted, the hopes of being able to import farm machinery to help in the production of more agriculture at a steady pace.  Cuba may never have as much food as other countries, but the choices they will have are better for them.

810px-Map_of_Cuba.png(Wikitravel, 2016,http://wikitravel.org/en/Cuba).

Food Everywhere

Food is vital to everyone in this world. Third world countries may have some troubles being able to afford food, but what about us here in Canada? Yes, we live in a developed country. However, we eat out about 520 times a year, this is either for a meal or a snack (Statistics Canada, 2006,http://www41.statcan.gc.ca/2006/0163/ceb0163_002-eng.htm). Even though third world countries may not be able to afford well-made food, households in Canada spend 30% of their food budget money on take out (Statistics Canada, 2006). We all need to be aware what is in our food and why we cannot seem to get good quality food. Cuba is able to not have any GMOs within their food. This is a great step for the rest of the world, but GMOs are an easier way of eating such large developed countries. As many of us know, eating healthy is a lifestyle and is more expensive then eating junk food. Third whole countries may not be able to afford healthy eating, but Canadians use 3/10s of our money on fast food (Statistics Canada, 2006). Eating out may be more convenient but it is not better for the human body.

0120fastfood (Friend, 2015,http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail- marketing/gourmet-burger-trend-will-take-a-bite-out-of-fast-food-chains-growth-study).

Solving Hunger

Here is a video that shows the European Union (EU) taking action to solve the hunger problem in developing countries. EU is fighting hunger by supporting sustainable agriculture and fisheries, by working with people and governments to produce more food and fighting inequality.  Here is the link that provides more detail about EUs plan to fight hunger in developing countries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1JrdVxt8s.

Impacts of Non Renewable Energy

There are energy issues in developing countries; Global Environment Facility has stated, “around 2 billion people in the developing world do not have access to the necessary power sources to maintain a basic standard of living” (GoldPower, n.d.). However, developing countries do not have the sources available to provide this energy to people (GoldPower, n.d.). One of the ways to solve this issue is that, companies are starting projects that can provide energy to developing countries (GoldPower, n.d.).

The projects corporations choose to support have many benefits. This is because through buying renewable energy resources in developing countries, from energy projects, such as carbon, communities become more socially and economically sustainable (GoldPower, n.d.).

Third world countries visibly do not have the same privileges that more developed countries have, such as Canada and the United States. Every single year about 2 million people die from diseases from fossil fuels alone (Global Environment Facility 2016). These third world countries having poverty it may be more cost effected than bringing in new energy resources that would air pollution that would improve health; therefore, reducing the deaths that occur each year. Third world countries are not the only countries that health is effect; every year, coal powered plants shorten about 24 000 lives the United States (Stefan, 2015). Fossil fuels are not only causing deaths in developing countries, non-renewable energy is not letting the economies grow. Energy within all countries is vital to being able to maintain any economic for the people within that country. Basic necessities, such as safe water, may not be met within developing countries without safe and affordable energy.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is putting forth efforts to minimize obstacles that third world countries face daily with regards to the energy that must be used in order to survive. According to the GEF, around 1.4 billion people still do not have access to basic electricity that here in Canada have almost everywhere (Global Environment Facility 2016). The GEF, a United States organization, has been investing billions of dollars in order to start projects that involved renewable energy to third world countries.

Non-renewable energy cannot sustain its self naturally. These energies cannot reproduce unless energies such as wind, water or sun. When and if third world countries and the rest of the world is able to only use renewable energy, 2 million people may not die from the cause of fossil fuels and another resource that are dangerous. Transiting into renewable energy is beneficial to everyone’s health on planet earth.

Are you aware that one-quarter of the world’s population is without power? (Gronewold, 2009). Most of these people being within the Continent of Africa and Southern Asia.  They rely mostly on wood and charcoal as their sources of energy because of the lack of access to gas, kerosene and propane.  These dilemmas are unknown to myself and many others. We live in a privileged society and are closed minded at what is happening in third world countries.  While investigating some solutions to this problem I was excited to see a famous celebrity concerned about the issue.  Singer/songwriter and philanthropist Akon started an initiative that gave electricity to six million Africans in 2014.  Akon’s project looked for the better of future for African citizens by providing them with a school called the Solar Academy which teaches them skills to build and maintain the solar systems that were installed.  This solution allows African countries to be more independent and self-sustainable.  There are now fourteen Countries within the Continent of Africa that have sustainable energy through the use of Solar light posts as well as solar panels on houses so everyone has the electricity they need.  In a place where the sun shines for a total of over three hundred days out of the year this is efficient for the individuals.   This world is in desperate need of people who are willing to show humanity and not ignore the conditions that are going on to our fellow human kind.

Population Growth in Third World Countries

Population is more of an issue than people may think. The population keeps growing but the planet is not growing with the people. The population is around 7.4 billion people; the number may vary depending on the source (worldometers, 2016).

India’s Overpopulation

One of India’s biggest problems is overpopulation; India has passed the 1-billion mark, making it the second country in the world with the highest population (Phukan, 2014). There are two main causes of overpopulation; the birth rate is surpassing the death rate and the fertility rate has been declining, however it is still higher than other countries (Phukan, 2014). In addition, there are many social issues that relate to cause of overpopulation in India, such as, early marriage, illegal migration, poverty and illiteracy, and cultural norms (Phukan, 2014). Poverty and illiteracy play a huge role in the population problem in India. India still does not have the concept of methods such as birth control and contraceptives because many citizens do not want to discuss the idea or some are not educated about the idea of contraceptives and birth control (Phukan, 2014). Moreover, there are many impacts of overpopulation such as unemployment. The number of illiterate people increase every year, thus the unemployment rate is continuously increasing (Phukan, 2014).

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This image summarizes how India’s overpopulation problem started and the effects of this problem (Haq, 2011). Source: Haq’s Musings

Africa’s Population

Particularly in Kenya the population is about 44.4 million to date and Africa as a whole’s population is expected to grow to 5.7 billion by 2100 (Conniff, 2014). The population of Africa is not well known and it has been causing trouble to the wildlife that is there and is effecting the people themselves. While the population grows, the more resources that are used. However, some of the resources that are use are not sustainable, which is a problem. The wild life in Kenya has begun to disappear and will not probably not be back any time soon, or at all (Conniff, 2014).

The birth rate of Africa is about 4.7 children per women (Bish, 2016); this rate does not seem like it is going to slow down. Family planning has been a strategy that has been put forth to slow down the rate of the population. However, it does not seem to be working. The growing population will continue until people are more educated on the subject and how the supply of resources is running out.

zmoNKAltv7R8mM-xaXfL6zl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9.jpg (Cinatad, 2011)

Cuba and the Aging Population

A poverty stricken country with a population around 11.5 million people (World Population, 2016). One might believe that the elderly would be adequately cared for.  Times have changed for Cuba, it was the “norm” to have your parents getting older, living with family, always having their grandchildren around to care for their needs.  The customs to which people live in communities with architecturally unsafe housing and deteriorated streets. A decline in the fertility amongst the younger generation the birthrates are one of the lowest in the western hemisphere.

With a push for education after the revolution, women became empowered and were reluctant to bring children into a world that was not economically stable.  Having an education is not a guarantee for a high paying career; in fact, an average weekly wage is around twenty dollars. Contraception is one of the ways women prevent unwanted pregnancy and the choice to have an abortion is easily available. Research has shown that Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world and there is no stigma attached to the procedure.

Furthermore, as society has a growing number of elderly it is normal to believe that the younger generation will be there to take care of them. This is becoming a problem because educated couples want to be able to have more for themselves so repeating the past generations of having children has been put on hold or it might not happen all (Grogg, 2012). This problem of population aging and low birthrate will be the cause of a demographic collapse unless something is done.

Rapid growth of population is a very big problem in many third world countries, such as India. The National Geographic did a year -long series about global population that discusses population issues such as demographics and food (7 BILLON, n.d.). Here is a link to a YouTube video that is very eye-opening and shows some of the topics and facts to give you a visual idea of how serious this population problem is in various countries (i.e. third world) around the globe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4HxPxNrZ0.