Keynote Proposal 3

"Thinking about the food crisis based on "Asia: Explosion of Three Billion People"

Picture Shiro Segawa

Shiro Segawa
  • Chief Editor of Science & Environment News Department, The Mainichi Newspapers

Mr. Lester Brown's “Who will feed China?” emerged in 1995 as a thought-provoking hypothesis. It pointed out that if the economy of China, with its population of 1.2 billion, continued to grow, and the country developed a meat-based diet on par with that in the United States, a global food crisis would be unavoidable. We went around gathering information on Asian countries like China, which continues to show remarkable economic growth, and reported on what was happening with regard to food supplies, energy, and the environment in Asia in a series called Asia: An Explosion of Three Billion People, starting in January 1996. During that assignment, we saw that there is an increasing demand for fodder and fish due to a change in dietary habits in China. Nevertheless, regarding the overall demand for food, there was a gap between Mr. Brown, who predicted severe shortages, and the Chinese government, which denies that there will be such shortages.
Since then, what has the transition been in reality? I would like to examine Mr. Brown's theory. I would like to find clues to solving the problems of water shortages and global warming, which have been pointed out as being related to food production, while touching on the issue of food disposal, which is essential when discussing food problems.

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