In 1798 Malthus published his famous essay “On the Principle of Population” including his grim observation that “the power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race”. Malthus articulated the discrepancy between the potential of populations for rapid growth and the slower growth rates of food production needed to support the population. This discrepancy can lead to a ‘Malthusian Catastrophe’ in the form of famine, epidemics and wars over food supply. Malthus, which was pessimistic regarding increasing food supply, advocated for policy measures to restrict the growth of the population to avoid a catastrophe.
Topics: Future of Food