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Thursday, October 1, 2015

World Hunger (Anything #1)

Aha, now we are to the whatever blog post. This means that I can do whatever I want and you’ll have to read it. Good luck to you guys! Today’s topic that I want to delve into is our food problem in the world. My mother and I struck up a conversation about hunger in the world while in the car a couple of weeks ago, and I just want to recap on that conversation.

So, just to make things a little clearer, I’ll give you a little lesson on my mother’s history. So my mom (Liz, not Julie) grew up on a farm in New Jersey. Her father was a farmer too, and he used to tell Liz many stories and  lessons about farming and the world. Well, one of those lessons was that people in the U.S and all over the world were building on farmland, and trying to farm on poor soil. What he says makes sense, and this is where I’ll throw my two cents in.
Before I get there though, I need to back up a bit. In history, we are talking about ancient civilizations. The number one thing that was the basis of their economy was agriculture. I think that agriculture is important in our world, but not the most important right now. Here’s where we could change some things. For starters, we need to put agriculture as our number one priority over all other things. This makes sense because food is one of our most basic necessities. In order to this, I think that we need to do some major landscaping. As Liz’s father said, we need to build on the agriculturally poor land, and farm the best land.

To actually carry this out, we would then need to develop a zoning committee that organizes land into different zones based on their values. Once a certain region is deemed farmland, then it needs to stay farmland. Sort of like how our national parks are protected regions, farmland would need to be protected regions also, for the good of the Earth. Now I know what you’re thinking. How on Earth are we going to safely relocate all the people and buildings and such so that they’re not on farmland? Well, the answer is complicated. Neither the people nor the governments would be happy about moving. But, there is an answer to some of this. Let’s say that people would be willing to move. There is an immediate problem with space, however and it is one that would need to be tackled first.

One solution that I have come up with is to stop building outwards, and start building up/down. Think of it this way. A 1 by ten square mile rectangle on the Earth takes up ten square miles on the Earth. However, if we build multiple 1 by 1 square miles on top of each other, and have ten levels going up, we’ll have the same amount of surface area but with 1/10 less land used. We could use this method for housing and government buildings and such. Imagine how much more space we could have if we built up.

This would free up the space needed for the extra people who were relocated. It would also make driving shorter, as the distance between buildings shrink when they are compacted. Shorter driving times mean less fuel emissions, and a happier environment. Above all else though, we’ll have our much needed farmland that would provide the extra food needed to sustain a growing population. Now, that is only one half of the problem. The other half is about managing our food consumption. Most Americans and other people around the world in developed countries waste a lot of food that they don’t even notice. A lot of this is because of the expiration dates, but also a lot of this is unnecessarily big portions for meals. Just think about it, most restaurants serve double the actual amount of food needed to survive. If we were to cut back on the food serving size for restaurants by half, and send the leftover food elsewhere, there would be a whole lot more food to go around compared to now.   

It is just the small things that add up in the end. If everybody at least did their part by consuming less, there would be more food to go around to those in need. Also, if we farmed on the good land and built on the bad, I believe that we would have enough food that if managed carefully, we could finally end the world hunger issue. Anyway, these are all big topics to think about, and may seem impossible, but if we truly believe in them they have the power to change the world.

1 comment:

  1. I think that Portland, OR (as well as other places) has tried a model similar to your suggestion, to control sprawl (which eats up farmland). You might be interested in it? Also, have you ever read Wendell Berry's work? You might like some of it? :-)

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