Many of the developed countries use very large additional amounts of land in other countries to grow their agricultural inputs and other foods. These are also called the ghost acres. Ghost acres are economically efficient because the true costs of exploiting land in places like Brazil and Thailand, and the true costs of shipping the crops, such as animal feed to Europe, are not reflected in the price of the food consumers buy. Export commodities grown on ghost acres distort a developing country's agricultural economy, encouraging small farmers to participate in growing cash crops for export rather than food crops for local needs.
At the same time as Northern countries import vast quantities of animal feed and other food commodities they also grapple with their own over-production problems. The subsequent export of subsidized food to poorer countries is imposing social and economic costs on those least able to cope with them.