Again, the US and Europe are way ahead on daily calorie intake | Popgen Tech


The finding is in line with a trend that shows that people in all regions of the world eat more calories since the year 2000, with the highest increase, in Asian countries in 2021.

Europe and North America consumed the most calories last year – at 3,540 per day – while African countries consumed the least: 2,600. Oceania’s calorie count was closest to the United States and Europe’s, at approximately 3,150.

Heat is on

Data from the UN agency also indicates that average temperatures in 2021 were more than 1.4 degrees Celsius warmer than between 1951 and 1980.

Europe experienced the highest temperature change, followed by Asia, while Oceania reported the lowest change by far.

Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural land also fell by four percent between 2000 and 2020, FAO said, with 70 percent generated on farms.

Rice leads emissions

The UN agency’s Statistical Yearbook 2022 also noted that while cattle emit about 50 times more carbon dioxide than chickens, growing rice releases five times more carbon into the atmosphere than wheat and coarse grains.

Based on data from more than 20,000 indicators covering more than 245 countries and territories, FAO’s number crunchers found that 866 million people work in agriculture today.

Rich harvest

That number amounts to more than a quarter of the global labor market and its value is $3.6 trillion; compared to the year 2000, this represents “a 78 percent increase in economic value, produced by 16 percent fewer people, with Africa achieving double the growth rate”, the UN agency said.

Since 2000, the production of primary crops, such as sugar cane, corn, wheat and rice, has grown by 52 percent from 2000 to 2020 to 9.3 billion tons.

Vegetable oil production increased 125 percent over that period, with palm oil production up 236 percent. Meat production, led by chicken, grew by 45 percent, while fruits and vegetables saw growth of 20 percent or less.

Among the dizzying number of facts provided by FAO that might well pop up in a pub quiz, sugarcane is the world’s largest crop by volume, at 1.9 million tonnes annually. Maize is next, at 1.2 million tonnes.

A farmer transplants rice in a rice field in the Philippines.

A farmer transplants rice in a rice field in the Philippines.

International takeaways

In addition, global food exports rose to $1.42 trillion, up 3.7 times since the turn of the century.

Globally, the largest food exporting countries in gross terms are the USA, the Netherlands and China. The biggest net exporters – those who export more than they import – were Brazil, followed by Argentina and Spain. The largest net importing countries were China, Japan and the UK.

An astonishing 4.74 billion hectares of the planet’s surface is agricultural land, including pastures and pastures, as well as crops.

Nevertheless, the total area used for farming has fallen by three percent since the year 2000, and it is six times lower per capita than at the beginning of the century, with Africa again at the forefront.

Highly hazardous pesticides must be phased out because it has proved very difficult to ensure proper handling.

Old formula

FAO’s data experts also noted that global pesticide use peaked in 2012 and began to decline in 2017. The countries with the highest pesticide application per hectare are Saint Lucia, Maldives and Oman.


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