How much would you expect to pay for the most basic plate of food?
The kind of thing you might whip up at home – nothing fancy, just enough to fill you up and meet a third of today’s calorie needs. A soup, maybe, or a simple stew – some beans or lentils, a handful of rice, bread, or corn?
In the rich Global North – say, in New York State, USA – such a meal would cost almost nothing to make: 0.6 percent of the average daily income, or US$1.20.
In parts of the developing world, by contrast, food affordability can shrink to the point of absurdity: in South Sudan, a country born out of war and disintegrating into more war, the meal-to-income ratio is 300 times that of industrialized countries.
It is, in other words, as if a New Yorker had to pay nearly US$348.36 for the privilege of cooking and eating that plate of food.