World Hunger. It takes a village.

Thinking of the entire world as a village may help us make better choices.

Within walking distance of all 1,000 citizens, our Stonington Free Library serves everyone -- not just the wealthiest 30%. It takes a village.

Sunday morning, lying in bed after hitting the snooze button at 0515, I began thinking about donating a half-dozen copies of our book to our very own Stonington Free Library — an effort on my part to be a good citizen of our little village by the sea.

That triggered a thought about the use of the phrase, It takes a village, in our book. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 6 entitled “Mouths to Feed” and focusing on the ever-growing issue of world hunger:

Living in a small coastal community in Connecticut, I understand the meaning of the phrase “It takes a village.” The quality of life for everyone is enhanced by the interests and actions of their neighbors; the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. Located on a densely populated peninsula, my quaint New England village is almost like a small college campus where everyone eventually gets to know one another.

Let’s imagine that our village of 1,000 residents has 1,000 acres of arable land within walking distance. The citizens and their leaders must decide what to produce on that land: grain, cows, vegetables, chickens, fruit, and/or pigs? If they proceed according to the model in the world of today, they will use over 900 acres to produce lots of meat and dairy products for the 300 wealthiest residents. That will leave fewer than 100 acres to provide food for the remaining 700 people—clearly not enough land to survive, no matter what kind of food they are eating. Sounds absurd, right? But that is the direction we are headed in the early part of the twenty-first century.

That’s right, with roughly 8 billion acres of arable land on the planet, we have seven billion people with “mouths to feed.” With a little over one acre per person, what’s the problem? The problem is that the extremely wasteful Western diet requires over 3 acres to feed just one person. If you passed the third grade, you can clearly understand the problem. We (the wealthiest 30%) are using three times more than our share of the land.

This is how much arable land is lost to land degradation in the world every year.

To compound the problem, more people in the developing world are choosing our wasteful diet-style every day. Not only that, we are losing a big chunk of that 8 billion acres every year to degradation and erosion — a chunk about the size of South Carolina. And let’s not forget that our world population continues to grow — adding almost 200,000 people every day — a number equal to a city the size of Grand Rapids, MI.

So, by now you may be thinking that you’ll just get all of your animal protein from the vast oceans of the world. Think again. Then consider the alarming facts in this “FISH” blog, much of which was covered in Chapter 4 of our book, “Running Roughshod.” FISH…the natural diet for humans? A “big picture” view

The Bottom Line. Even if you still believe that you “need” to eat animal protein to be healthy, the simple fact is that there will never be enough so that everyone can partake. This realization was part of my “blinding flash of the obvious” that I experienced in the spring of 2003. We’re eating the wrong food. Not only is is destroying our health, but it is grossly unsustainable (for many reasons) for very much longer. Now for the good news:

With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we could easily feed everyone on far less than one-half of those 8 billion acres; and the other 4 or 5 billion acres could be returned to forests and meadows — where they could go to work repairing the environment over which humankind has been running roughshod for the past century.

Authors J. Stanfield Hicks and J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Maybe if more of us thought of living in a small village where over 70% of the people was going hungry, we would find it easier to make better choices in what we eat. It really does take a village. 

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.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Sustainability, World Hunger and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to World Hunger. It takes a village.

  1. Don Weller says:

    The Tragedy of the Commons. We need to understand what we already know.

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