|Bioconversion of Organic Residues for Rural Communities (UNU, 1979)|
|Production of microbial protein foods on edible substrates, food by-products, and ligno-cellulosic wastes|
The Green Revolution
What can be done to alleviate the nutritional problems that face the developing world? The Green Revolution has resulted in a vast increase in worldwide productivity of rice and wheat. It has enabled mankind to continue to feed a burgeoning population up to now, but it has not relieved the plight of the millions of hungry and malnourished in the developing world. The basic problem remains essentially one of economics. The food is generally available if the people have the money to buy it, and farmers the world over will produce more food if they can sell it for a profit. However, we have no way at present to improve the economic status of millions of malnourished people, unless the world decides to use the US$350,000 million spent each year on armaments (US$100,000 million of which is spent by Third World countries) to improve the economic and nutritional status of the poor (4).
Thus, we must look for alternate ways of increasing the food supply or modifying the distribution of cereals and legumes between animals and man.
Increased Utilization of Cereals for Feeding Humans
For example, on a worldwide basis, about 400 pounds of cereal grains are available per person per year (5). In the developing world, cereal grains are generally consumed by humans. In the United States, about 2,000 pounds of cereal grains are available per person per year. Of this, about 200 pounds are consumed directly in foods such as bread, cereals, etc. The rest is used for animal feeds and alcoholic beverage production. If Americans alone became vegetarians, releasing the grain now fed to animals, we could feed approximately another 800 million people a basic cereal diet.