Eat less, feed more
The popular revolutions we are witnessing in the Middle East, while inspired by a desire for personal freedom and self-determination, are certainly sustained by a pervasive hunger pan-demic, particularly among the world’s less privileged populations.
Since last December, skyrocketing demand for food and dwindling supplies have driven the global Food Price Index to new records. Supplies have suffered from catastrophic floods and droughts linked to global warming and from gradual depletion of groundwater aquifers. Demand has been fueled by unchecked population growth and by diversion of massive amounts of grains into biofuel and meat production.
Hunger afflicts nearly one billion people worldwide, mostly women and children. It feeds massive popular migrations and unrest that, sooner or later, will affect us all.
Some of the causes of global hunger are beyond our personal control. But, as the world’s highest meat consumers, we have a special obligation to free up some grains for the hungry by limiting our own consumption. With the broad availability of delicious and nutritious meat and dairy alternatives in every supermarket, there is no reason to delay. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine returns lots of good guidance.
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The Aspen Institute will for the first time in its history contribute to the affordable housing inventory by offering to buy housing credits for its new Herbert Bayer center.