Care About Hungry People? Eat More Plants

If everyone in the United States decided to eat a vegan diet, would there be enough food to feed the 10 billion people the U.N. projects will inhabit the planet by 2100? According to a recent article in Marketplace, the answer is yes. Here’s why:

The article focuses on the corn market, but not the kind of corn that you find canned or frozen at your local grocery store. The corn centered on is used as animal feed. In the United States, field corn is the largest crop in the country, but only 8.5 percent goes into our foods and drinks, leaving the majority of corn grown in the United States to fill up the bellies of animals raised for food.

StopHungerNow.org reports that "one in every nine people on our planet goes to bed hungry each night." And Bruce Babcock, an economics professor at Iowa State University, says if more people transitioned to a vegan diet, "there would be such a surplus of farmland to grow kumquats and pecans that we would be awash in those, in a heartbeat."

To put it simply, there are nearly 800 million people who do not have enough to eat and a compassionate diet will do more than help the billions of animals killed each year for food; it is a solution that has the potential to feed millions of people by using the 90 million acres of land currently used to grow corn to feed factory-farmed animals to grow vegetables instead.

"The trick would be convincing the country - and other countries that import animal feed from the U.S. - to go vegan. We would have more land available for the 10 billion than they would know what to do with," Babcock concludes.

Consumers can help feed the world’s hungry, and withdraw their support from an industry that treats animals like machines by transitioning away from meat and other animal products. You can order your free Vegetarian Starter Guide here.