By 2050, the world’s population is estimated to rise to 9 billion—that’s an entire 2 billion more people than occupy Earth now, and an entire 2 billion more stomachs to fill. With about 800 million people already suffering malnutrition at a 7 billion population, farmers have a big task ahead of them. Sustainable farming practices, of course, will be key to a healthy environment and population, but there are steps non-farmers can take as well to make the job a little easier.
Don’t bite more than you can chew
For every 100 calories of food grown, people only eat about 35 calories. Farmers work way too hard to let so much go to waste, especially when there are so many in need of food. It’s close to impossible to not waste any food, but you can at least be conscious of how much you and your family typically eat. For example, you could take note of the groceries you consistently end up throwing out so you have a better idea of how much to buy or what not to buy when you’re at the store.
Additionally, cutting back on meat could give back more of those aforementioned calories to people. Animals need to eat too, and if people are eating less meat, that means less animals farmers need to raise and feed, thus, more crops to go to people instead of animals. While you don’t necessarily need to completely cut meat or other animal products out of your diet, try experimenting with plant-based proteins. It can be a fun way to introduce new and healthy foods to your family, as well as a great way to get in the habit of getting more fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market. Here are a few resources to spark some creativity for a plant-based family meal this week: