Hunger continues to be one of humanity's greatest challenges despite the existence of a more-than-adequate global food supply equal to 2,800 kilocalories for every person every day. In measuring progress, policy-makers and concerned citizens across the globe rely on information supplied by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations. In 2010 the FAO reported that in the wake of the 2007–2008 food-price spikes and global economic crisis, the number of people experiencing hunger worldwide since 2005–2007 had increased by 150 million, rising above 1 billion in 2009. However, in its State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI 12) the FAO presented new estimates, having revamped its methods and reinterpreted its hunger data back to 1990. The revised numbers for the period 1990–1992 to 2010–2012 reverse the trend to a steadily falling one. Based on the FAO's new calculations, extreme undernourishment peaked in 1990 at a record-breaking one billion, followed by a significant decline through 2006, when progress stalled but did not reverse (see chart below).
* Frances Moore Lappé is founder of Small Planet Institute; Jennifer Clapp is the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo; Molly Anderson is Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems at College of the Atlantic; Robin Broad is a professor in the School of International Service at American University; Ellen Messer is a visiting professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University; Thomas Pogge is Director of the Global Justice Program and Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University; and Timothy Wise is director at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. The authors would like to thank John Cook, Sophia Murphy, Susie Walsh, Nora McKeon, and Stuart Clark for their comments on an earlier draft, FAO staff for their clarification on the data, and Ria Knapp and Taarini Chopra for their research assistance.