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What About This…? 2.2.2017

By Wayne William Cipriano

One of my hysterically parochial farming magazines is telling me that in the next 20 or 30 or 50 years we farmers are going to have to double our output of food or the entire world (or some part of it) will begin slowly starving.

I will not bore you with definitions of food, starvation, or part.

I suppose it is sort of ego-enhancing to feel I have such a responsibility, such power, such importance, but I am pretty sure it is all bull.

There is no doubt hunger exists in the world and that is far from a jestible situation, but to extrapolate from the waste we now engage in to an even more embarrassing wastage requiring increased output to keep up with it is primarily irrational as it disregards human intelligence.  (I may want to rethink that last clause.)

However, one can make a case that continuing down our present path without remediation will or may allow a lot of starvation to occur.  But, will we continue?

Will we continue to throw out millions of tons of food every year because it is not pleasing to the eye? Will we continue to produce non-food products on potentially food-producing land?  Will we continue to discard food when in many locales there are not enough mouths to eat that which was produced in excess?  Will each of us continue to avoid cleaning our plates when we eat?

I do not have the fortitude to discuss how the geopolitics of starvation effect the behavior of nation states that have much more than needed to supply the nutritional needs of their citizens.  And I do not wish to slip into the kumbaya trap of the impossibility of wide-scale communal life.  But the response to the plague of starvation is so very obvious, so very easy. And certainly does not require a doubling of our food production.

As obvious and as easy as: mom not making so much to eat; us eating all we are given, and identifying that stuffed feeling?  Yes.   Evaluating the utility of food based on its nutritional value, not its appearance?  Yes.  Producing food, not ornamentals?  Yes.  Using all we make, all we prepare, all we can?  Yes.  As obvious and as easy as just thinking about the existence of starvation?  Certainly, yes.

Doubling or tripling what we now produce is only necessary if we continue the deplorable habits of waste our abundance has allowed while our brothers and our sister hunger.  Eat all your spinach and shut up!

Answers so very obvious?  So very easy?  Sure they are. All it takes is a little intelligence, a little cooperation, and the good will of those of us who have.

Simple as that.