Too much food or not enough food?

Plants are essential food for all living organisms, including man, to survive. In the Ecosystems section, we saw they are the basis of the food pyramid. Farming began 7-8,000 years ago, when men stopped living a nomadic life, began to live in stable communities, and started to produce food by selecting the plants that were fittest for periodical sowing and harvesting.
During the last century, the farming techniques have developed so much as to increase crops by almost five times. The increase in the availability of food has been, however, very different in the different countries and regions of the world. In developing countries, over 800 million people still suffer from hunger or malnutrition, while in industrialised countries more and more people are overeating or overweight. In both cases, this food imbalance negatively affects both human health and productivity. In fact, natural products have maintained their market share and are expected to even increase it over the next few decades. These products have the great advantage of being renewable: unlike modern plastics and man-made fibres, which are produced from non-renewable resources (oil, coal), they are not bound to disappear. A cotton plantation grows all over again every year, as well as a forest can renew itself, though more slowly, after the trees have been cut.

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Facts