La clave para acabar con el hambre

EUGENE (OREGÓN) – La reciente noticia de que dos terceras partes de los adultos de los Estados Unidos tienen exceso de peso o son obesos –y su número sigue aumentando– trae a las mientes una pregunta que me ha preocupado desde el decenio de 1970: ¿por qué no estamos pasando hambre todos?

No hace mucho que algunos expertos predecían que nuestra población humanaamp#160; crecería vertiginosamente y superaría nuestro abastecimiento de alimentos, lo que provocaría sin falta un hambre en gran escala. Se suponía que a estas alturas habría millones de personas muriendo de hambre todos los años. Era el resultado de las antiguas y terribles matemáticas de Thomas Malthus: la población se dispara geométricamente, mientras que la producción de alimentos queda rezagada. Tiene un sentido evidente. Yo me crié con las ideas de Malthus actualizadas en libros apocalípticos como The Population Bomb (“La bomba demográfica”).

Pero parece que alguien desactivó la bomba. En lugar de la inanición en gran escala, parece que estamos inundados de alimentos y no sólo en los Estados Unidos. La obesidad va en aumento en México. La diabetes relacionada con la grasa está resultando una epidemia en la India. Uno de cada cuatro habitantes de China tiene exceso de peso, más de 60 millones son obesos y la tasa de niños con exceso de peso ha aumentado casi treinta veces desde 1985. Dondequiera que miremos, desde Buffalo hasta Beijing, se ven vientres hinchados.

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