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Modern Concepts & Developments in Agronomy

Food, Energy and Values: Reflections on the Global Food Issue

  • Open or Close Walter Leimgruber*

    Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

    *Corresponding author: Walter Leimgruber, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Geography Unit, University of Fribourg/CH, Switzerland

Submission: August 18, 2017; Published: December 07, 2017

DOI: 10.31031/MCDA.2017.01.000505

ISSN: 2637-7659
Volume1 Issue1


The problem of food supply has been the object of discussions since Malthus. Usually, the roots of and the solutions to this problem are exclusively sought in environmental and technical fields: harvest failures, inadequate food distribution, food prices etc. in other words, quantitative arguments dominate the debate. While these factors doubtlessly play an important role, they are not the only reasons for the fact that about one billion people on our Planet suffer from hunger and/or malnutrition. This paper reflects on the superficial and on the deeper reasons for the food problem. It argues that we are confronted with a complex situation that is linked to the close relationship between environmental and societal problems. Agriculture (the food provider) is not only dependent on physical conditions (soil, water, weather etc.) but is anchored in cultural practices, both on the producer and the consumer side. Besides, the lust for power and the greed for material profit along the entire food chain have transformed this field into a political and neoliberal playground with dire consequences for the underprivileged and the poor. The answer to the global food crisis lies therefore not only with technological solutions but in human attitudes towards food and nutrition.

Keywords: World hunger; Food; Nutrition; Energy; Value systems

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