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Walking was probably the best way to get ideas off and in to my head. In search for a topic, I decided to take a walk into a park and on my way back to the streets I coincidentally run into a street boy who says to me, “I am hungry, please buy me some food”. After that incident I remember saying to myself what an interesting topic hunger would be for this research. As days went by, I saw the bigger picture and need not only to come up a research about hunger, but also and most importantly to make my research part of the solution by evaluating the causes and recommending remedies to hunger problem. One of my old friends works with the World Health Organization and has been telling me stories about hunger afflicted countries. This information definitely could be of some assistance to my topic of research making me even more compelled and convinced that there could not have been a better topic to discuss about food.
The research methods this study were mostly interviews. Interviews are a secure method for obtaining primary data. The participants interviewed included my friends, family members, organizational members and random people. The interview questions were mid- fixed; this means that participants were not limited to the questions but were allowed to put on additional information of their own liking. Additional sources used in this research included the use of online sources and issuance of questionnaires. Questionnaires sought to understand the knowledge the people had about hunger and weather they were putting up any actions to counteract the causes of hunger. The online sources used included electronic journals and blog posts.
We can do it today.
Most people around me who I had to ask about the topic of hunger had no, or were not informed enough about my research topic. Nonetheless, this does not make the topic irrelevant. I live in an estate where there are no farms or food production and processing industries. The people here actually have no idea about how food is produced or grown. They just worry about inflation and issues to do with changes in food prices. Having learnt this, I had to make sure that by the end of my research, I would change their overall assumptions on this topic. The best way to begin a research is from what you initially know (Creswell, 20-35)). According to my assumptions, the main causes of hunger and food shortage was natural factors such as extreme weather conditions of floods or drought. I also thought that hunger was an issue only in the third world countries only to realize that also developed countries such as the United States suffer mild cases. At least I thought I knew this right but after consulting my old friend from world Health Organization, I realized that the work I had to put into my research was not that easy and that I needed to put in more.
According to her experience, she revealed, to my surprise that most of what I knew was to some extent true but really did not reflect the entire story. She stated lack of preparation as the main cause of hunger. She explained that the weather patterns are known globally and that their fluctuation is negligible. The government and the concern bodies do not put up consistent measures to counter the extreme weather conditions. She confirmed that if proper preparations on storage of food would be done, then the problem of extreme weather conditions would not be an issue enough to cause food insecurity. The developed countries would never have occurred to me as one of the black spots where hunger is an issue. Though mild, it was and is one of the main issues affecting quite a number of people living in developed countries. In these countries however, the main cause of hunger is wastage of food resources (Zanette 97-123). People in developed countries buy food in large quantities but do not consume it and so it ends up wasted.
This information prompted me to dig deeper into my research. I set out to try and find the other causes of hunger and food insecurity. Upon my research I found out that the other causes of hunger especially in developing counties were rapid growth in population, corruption and political instability, cash crop dependence, military conflicts, AIDS, pests and livestock diseases (Zanette 1439-1470). Some of these causes may not lead to hunger directly. I learnt through my research that AIDS for instance limits the growth and efficiency in agriculture since there are less people to work. AIDS also increases expenses leading to a higher risk of hunger for families and victims. Military conflicts prevent people who provide help in situations of hunger crisis from accessing the victims. Funds and assistance is always sent to the counties affected by hunger by the local and international organizations. Unfortunately, the funds and supplies end up into the hands of greedy and corrupt people and this worsens the situation. Some developed countries encourage the production of cash crops and uses the income from these cash crops to import food, in most cases this food is not enough to sustain their population leading to the crises of hunger. Rapid population growth puts a country on a high risk of hunger and food insecurity if no plans to avert the crisis are put in place and implemented. Pests and livestock diseases limit harvest and also production of more food leading to hunger. My research indicated that even developing countries end up wasting food (Wiklund 72-90). This wastage is due to lack of proper infrastructure for storage and processing of harvested food. Food wastage leads to abrupt changes in prices of food making it not affordable to the poor and small income earners. In developed contrives, people are encouraged to purchase too much food which in essence they are not going to consume leading to wastage
Finally, it is therefore correct to note that hunger is not caused by the most basic reasons but to a large extent by rapid population growth, food wastage and dependence on cash crops while relying on imported food, corruption and lack of political stability, military conflicts, pests and livestock diseases and AIDS (Benyshek 87-103). From these research findings, my conclusion is that the main cause of hunger and food insecurity is corruption and political instability. This is because in countries, there are systems put in place and funds tapped into them to ensure that a country is prepared for low seasons of low food production, control of pests and diseases, food storage to avoid wastage, food production for domestic consumption as well as good use of funds and donations to curb hunger crises.
- Zanette, Liana, Paul Doyle, and Steve M. Trémont. “Food shortage in small fragments: evidence from an area‐sensitive passerine.” Ecology 81.6 (2000): 1654-1666.
- Benyshek, Daniel C., and James T. Watson. “Exploring the thrifty genotype’s food‐shortage assumptions: A cross‐cultural comparison of ethnographic accounts of food security among foraging and agricultural societies.” American journal of physical anthropology 131.1 (2006): 120-126.
- Wiklund, Ann-Kristin Eriksson, Brita Sundelin, and Rui Rosa. “Population decline of amphipod Monoporeia affinis in Northern Europe: consequence of food shortage and competition?.” Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 367.2 (2008): 81-90.
- Mena, Carlos, B. Adenso-Diaz, and Oznur Yurt.
- Creswell, John W., and Vicki L. Plano Clark. “Designing and conducting mixed methods research.” (2007). 13-32.