How do we feed the planet’s growing human population? In his 1798 essay, Thomas Malthus predicted that the ability of the Earth to produce enough food to sustain life would not be able to keep pace with the rate of human fertility. Malthus believed that when the planet’s resources became strained due to overpopulation, then hunger and famine would occur. Although the Malthusian prediction has not yet come true, the planet’s population is quickly growing. What are the challenges now, and in the future, to maintain a stable food supply for the planet? This entry focuses on population, food production, and food access.

Global Population

On June 3, 2014, the U.S. and World Population Clock, maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, listed that the world’s population is ...

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