This is an English translation I made of an essay called If the world were a village of 100 people: food edition by Ikeda Kayoko (ISBN 9784838770045). As far as I know it is only available in the original Japanese. There are many interesting and important facts in it, so I felt it important to get an English translation out there. This translation is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 unported licence.
Grilled salty pike and simmered taro, with rice, miso (bean paste) soup and pickled vegetables … that was the hearty meal one have in Japan forty, fifty years ago.
Everyone had 112kg(*see notes at the end) of rice to eat for one year – twice as much as we have today.
Do you still think this is a poor person’s meal? Back then, Japan produced close to 80 percent of all its food needs.
And now in the twenty-first century … the world has 6.7 billion people.
If the world were a village of 100 people and we look how we live with food what do you think this would look like?