7 Billion Humans | National Geographic Magazine: Kuchuru Riverbank, Lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia

Crowds Flock to Kuchuru Town Riverbank at the Sound of a Boat Motor, Lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia

Some 850 million to 925 million people experience food insecurity or chronic undernourishment. In much of Africa and South Asia, more than half the children are stunted (of low height for their age) as a result of chronic hunger. While the world produced 2.3 billion metric tons of cereal grains in 2009-10 — enough calories to sustain 9 to 11 billion people — only 46 percent of the grain went into human mouths. Domestic animals got 34 percent of the crop, and 19 percent went to industrial uses like biofuels, starches and plastics.

—Joel E. Cohen, author of “How Many People Can the Earth Support?”

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