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Nutri Sci Exam 2 Study Guide Lectures 2 5 Lecture 2 Famines What is a famine Famines are extreme cases of food insecurity A famine occurs when a large number of people die from starvation Each famine is typically specific to a particular period and particular region The severity of a famine is often measured by the number of people who starve to death But this can be difficult to assess for two reasons People can die from causes unrelated to malnutrition Malnutrition increases the odds of death from diseases Five Case Studies Irish potato famine 1845 1852 Ukraine famine 1932 1933 Bengal famine 1943 China famine 1959 1961 Ethiopia famine 1984 1985 Irish Potato Famine 1845 1852 In the 1840 s 2 3 of the Irish population were farmers many of them poor farmers depending almost exclusively on potatoes for food The famine was caused by a potato disease potato blight creating massive crop failure 1 million people died from starvation and disease out of 8 million people living in Ireland in 1840 1 million people emigrated from Ireland Why did Irish farmers specialize so much in growing potatoes Because potatoes produce more calories per acre than any other crop including wheat Because potatoes are also a good source of vitamins and minerals Lesson 1 Overspecialization in agriculture can expose us to risk associated with adverse shocks from disease or weather There was no shortage of food in Europe at the time Lesson 2 Preventing famines is not easy Private and public interventions did not reduce the death rate from the Irish famine In the 1840 s agricultural markets were protected from trade through protectionist policies that restrict trade Lesson 3 By importing food from other regions trade can help reduce food insecurity Note In 1849 Britain repealed protectionist policies called the Corn Laws This was the start of the first period of world market globalization 1850 1914 led by Great Britain Human migration was a major response to the Irish famine in particular migration to Lesson 4 Migrating away from the region where famine occurs can be an effective the US coping mechanism But this requires finding an immigration region exhibiting favorable conditions Finding a favorable immigration region is becoming more difficult Ukraine Famine 1932 1933 In 1929 Stalin introduced compulsory collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union As Ukrainian farmers resisted their food stocks were confiscated causing widespread starvation 6 8 million Ukrainians died out of a population of 34 million Lesson 5 Government policies can create famines Bengal Famine 1943 Bengal was a region in North East India now divided between Bangladesh and India 1 5 3 million people died of starvation in Bengal in 1943 out of 60 million people In Bengal the availability of food grains rice was higher in 1943 the famine year than in 1941 Famine victims were almost all from rural areas Among rural occupations Farmers were the least affected group Agricultural workers were the most affected group The role of entitlements Food purchasing power individual income divided by the price of food This is the largest quantity of food that an individual can purchase given his her income When the food purchasing power falls below some survival threshold people starve even if food is available Food purchasing power rises with income declines with the price of food The famine in rural Bengal was caused by Some decline in the rural wage rate reducing the income of agricultural workers A sharp rise in the price of rice in rural areas This implied a sharp reduction in the food purchasing power of agricultural workers Agricultural workers starved to death not because there was no food but because they did not have the purchasing power to acquire it Lesson 6 Malnutrition and starvation can occur even if food is available Sen argues that agricultural workers were affected most compared to other groups because they saw the largest decline in their food purchasing power Lesson 7 Malnutrition can vary across individuals as a function of income and prices Malnutrition increases with poverty low income Malnutrition tends to increase under high food prices China Famine 1958 1962 In 1958 Mao Tse Tung implemented in China a policy Great Leap Forward that favored industrialization at the expense of agriculture Combined with poor weather conditions this led to massive crop failures It resulted in the worst famine in history 30 million people died in China in 1958 1962 Ethiopia Famine 1984 1985 Ethiopia in North East Africa has an economy based on agriculture It has seen many droughts and famines over the last centuries The 1984 85 famine was the worst one in Ethiopia s history 1 million people died This famine was due to a combination of drought civil war and government policy The vulnerability to famine and malnutrition varies among socio economic groups Pastoralists who move with their livestock versus subsistence farmers who are sedentary Social relations Wealth matters livestock is a common way to accumulate wealth in rural Africa Access to relief shelters Effectiveness of famine relief programs Famine Relief Programs Famine relief programs have been put in place by governments the United Nations e g the World Food Program UNICEF international organizations such as the Red Cross and Non Government Organizations NGO such as Action Against Hunger CARE The World Food Program WFP provides food assistance to 85 90 million people in 83 countries each year Current emergencies Yemen South Sudan Syria Central African Republic Nigeria DR Congo Burundi Venezuela Migration options to deal with famine are deteriorating Finding a favorable immigration region is becoming difficult Refugee camps have become more common Lecture 3 Malnutrition Around the World About 1 out of 8 people in the world are hungry What groups of people are undernourished Malnutrition can affect any group But the incidence of malnutrition is often higher for Children who are highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of undernutrition both in the short run they are more likely to die and in the long run as malnutrition affects physical physiological and mental development The poor who cannot afford an adequate diet People living in rural areas They often have lower income compared to urban people Living in remote locations can reduce access to markets Girls and women due to gender discrimination e g in India which has the highest ratio of males to females Individuals or groups affected

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UW-Madison NS 350 - Nutri Sci Exam 2 Study Guide

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