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Food reaching consumers from 1988-1990

    The daily allowance of energy  recommended by the National Research Council ranges from 2,300 to 3,000 for men and from 1,900 to 2,300 for women. I shall follow custom and call these kilocalories simply calories, abbreviated cal. The Council recommends that men daily take in about 60 g of protein,  and women about 50 (National Research Council, 1989,[NRC89] 33; 285).

The FAO (1992,[FotUN] 237; 239) estimates that in 1988-1990 an average of 2,697 cal/day reached consumers, 84%, or 2,272 cal, from vegetable and 16% from animal products. The difference between averages of 3,404 in developed countries  and 2,473 in developing ones illustrates how wealth affects food reaching consumers. The minimum is 1,760 in the Comoros islands between Africa and Madagascar. Other examples are 1,892 in Bangladesh; 2,921 in Japan; about 3,600 in Denmark, France, Hungary, and the United States; and 3,925 in the Benelux countries.

Similarly, the FAO estimates that an average of 71 g of protein/day reached consumers, about two-thirds from vegetable products. Some examples are 38 in Comoros; 43 in Bangladesh; 95 in Japan; 98 to 112 in Denmark, France, Hungary, and the United States; and 128 in Iceland.

Sharing the present food reaching consumers by halving it with an equal number of newcomers would not work. Halving the 2,697 cal and 71 g of protein provides less than either the recommended daily intake or the minimum today in the FAO tabulation.

Yasuko Kitajima
Thu Jun 19 16:20:56 PDT 1997