As I left Holden, MA this morning at 5:45 AM, I was expecting to listen to some soothing music on my iPhone’s Pandora Radio App. But before I got Pandora cranked up, I heard on my car radio that Osama Bin Laden was dead. So, I tuned in to my favorite NPR station and listened to the big news for the entire 85-minute drive back to Stonington, CT.
One of the prettiest days of 2011 to date, I was struck by the magnificent beauty of springtime in New England. Driving through the lush meadows and the misty forests with new green everywhere, I had this wonderful feeling of a new beginning. The big news of the day and the beauty of spring combined to give me an enhanced feeling of hope for our planet.
Now for the food part of this post. Eating is an essential daily activity for all seven billion humans that now inhabit the Earth. And the wealthiest 20% of that population has created the most wasteful, harmful (health & environmentally), and unsustainable system imaginable. I would also argue that the never-ending search for food has probably been the single largest source of human conflict since our species emerged. From our book research, we know that:
- The production of meat requires 20 times more energy per calorie of than is required to produce a calorie of plant-based foods.
- With a plant-based diet, we can feed 20 people on the same of amount of land that it takes to feed one person a meat-based diet.
- It takes more than 20 times as much fresh water to produce one calorie of meat than is required for plant-based foods.
- Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn stated in the movie Forks Over Knives that up to 80 % of our health care dollars would simply disappear if everyone in the USA shifted to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
In addition to the above examples of harm, waste and unsustainability; there is also the problem of enough land to keep feeding the world’s growing human population. Right now there are roughly 8 billion acres of arable land on the planet and 7 billion humans. That works out to just over one acre per human. Depending on how we choose to feed ourselves that number is not a problem. BUT:
- It takes over three acres to feed one person the typical western diet.
- Third grade math tells us that we have a problem — it gets worse.
- We are losing arable land about the size of South Carolina every year.
- More people in the developing world are adopting our diet-style every day.
- The population of the world adds 197,000 people every day — about the size of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Do you get the picture? There’s going to be lots of trouble ahead as the world’s seven billion people compete for the dwindling amount of farmland there is to share. A return to the natural diet for our species would enable us to feed all seven billion people on less than 20% of the world’s arable land.
Once you understand the “big picture” here, it almost seems like a blinding flash of the obvious.
Now all we need is for some of the world’s most powerful leaders to understand the gravity of the situation and embrace the peace-building, health promoting and environment-saving whole foods, plant-based way of eating for humankind.
Please forward this message to everyone you know and let’s all start promoting health, hope and harmonyon planet Earth together.
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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