WORLD - Food Insecurity for 8 Billion?

Arno Froese

Every night around 828 million people go to bed hungry, according to the World Food Program (WFP), a United Nations organization focusing on providing food assistance globally.

“We are on the way to a raging food catastrophe,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told world leaders at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. “People in five separate places are facing famine.”

The world produces enough food yearly, around 4 billion tons, to feed everyone, but around one-third of all food made, approximately 1.3 billion tons of fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat, goes to waste, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

When food prices increase, households switch to cheaper staple foods and processed foods instead of buying more nutritious—and generally more expensive—foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, decreasing the quality of their diets, said Saskia Osendarp in an April op-ed in Nature magazine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also increased food prices, as both countries are important suppliers of wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil.

At the Committee on World Food Security, WFP executive director David Beasley said the world is facing threats of mass starvation and that global leaders must act and provide humanitarian support.

-abcnews.go.com, 19 November 2022

Arno's Commentary

The world’s five largest wheat producers are China, India, Russia, USA, and France. What is important in this case is export. The top five exporters are: Russia, 23.9%; Canada, 12.4%; USA, 12.2%; France, 10.3%; and Ukraine, 8.9%. According to Beef2Live.com, “Food therefore is grown in abundance. Two major problems are distribution and food waste.” UN.org reports that “An estimated 70% of total global food production is wasted.” Interestingly, Statista.com lists the top ten food wasting countries as: Nigeria, Greece, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Ethiopia, Malaysia, and France (the US ranked 22 out of 35 countries). 

The other issue is distribution. Countries with a degree of financial disability are in a difficult position to keep supply chains functioning. 

In summary, hunger will continue to be a reality.

We are reminded of Revelation 6, where we are introduced to the four riders of the apocalypse. After the third seal is opened, we read in verse 6: “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” In plain words, this means skyrocketing prices for food. The NIV reads, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages.” That doubtless is describing global famine.

Unusual are the words, “hurt not the oil and the wine.” These are two luxury items, not needed to sustain life on earth. But it demonstrates cleansing and healing, as was the case with the Good Samaritan.

It is our understanding that in the midst of the horrendous judgment that comes upon earth, the oil means the anointed of the Lord. Regarding the wine, we are reminded of Psalm 80:8-9: “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.” This means Israel. The prophet Jeremiah states, “Jacob … shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7b).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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