World Food Day 2021 Forty percent of the world population does not have the money to eat nutritious food

Bhagirath, New Delhi. Nutritious food is considered essential for leading an active and healthy life, but 300 million people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, do not have enough money to afford nutritious food. This has been revealed in the report released at the United Nations Food System Summit 2021 held in Rome from 26 to 28 July. The report was jointly released by Food Prices for Nutrition, Tufts University and the World Food Program. According to the report, the burden of diseases is increasing worldwide due to lack of healthy food.

Many people are deprived of healthy food due to not being able to afford nutritious food. For this only the market price of raw agricultural products is not responsible. The invisible cost of preparing food also increases its price significantly. The report estimated the cost of food in 168 countries and found that the cheapest basic platter of pulses costs $0.71. This thali does not include the cost of cooking food. However, this plate does not meet the requirements of nutritional food. If protein-rich red meat is included in this plate, then its price increases by $1.03. Similarly, if poultry is included, the price of this plate increases by $1.07 and if fish is included, the price of this plate increases by $1.30.

According to the report, if people eat cooked food instead of the normal thali and include canned beans, fish or tomatoes and bread, then its cost almost doubles to $1.77 from the basic thali. If red meat is included in this, the price increases by $1.03. Similarly, the price increases by $1.03 if poultry is included and $1.30 if fish is included.

The report said that the international poverty line is $1.90 a day and poor families are not able to spend that much money on food. In a quarter of countries where food is not very cheap, the cheapest plate costs about 6 percent or more of the average daily income. On eating cooked food, this price increases by 20 percent. If meat is included in the diet, the price increases by 10 percent. In such a situation people turn away from quality food.

Invisible cost of food: Fuel plays a major role in increasing the price of food. According to the report, 0.675 kg of charcoal or 0.2 kg of gas (LPG) or 1.5 kilowatt hour of electricity is required to make 500 grams (enough for 8.7 thali) of dry beans. 77 grams of charcoal, 23 grams of LPG gas or 0.17 kilowatt hour of electricity is required for cooking it per plate.

Calculations based on this technique in six African countries Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda show that the cost per plate of beans is more than 50 per cent of the cost of most fuels. For example, in Ethiopia the cost of beans per plate is about 17 US cents, while cooking it with LPG costs about 12 US cents. In Rwanda, the cost of cooking beans is more than the cost of electricity and LPG. In Uganda also LPG is more than the cost of beans.