There is no specific date for when the global food crisis started, although historians recognize the genesis of "food regimes" dating back to the 16th century, particularly during the colonial era. During this time, a mercantile food system was created, whereby basic agricultural products, such as grains, milk and meat, were produced in Europe while the colonies were forced through restrictive tariffs to produce special goods for the mother countries.
Today, world hunger can be caused by numerous factors. Poverty is one of the leading factors of world hunger, where around 1.4 billion people make less than 1.25 dollars a day. These people have such a lack of resources, whether in money, land or tools, that they simply cannot find enough food to eat on a daily basis. Armed conflicts also tend to halt agricultural production in many areas while governments end up spending more money on weapons than on social programs. Over-consumption of food also occurs in wealthy nations. Unfortunately, hunger is also more likely in vulnerable populations like children, the disabled and elderly adults.