photo: Grow Where You Are - USA
What is A Well-Fed World...
A well-fed world is one in which all people have enough food -- specifically nutrient-dense, plant-based whole foods that maximize health and minimize harm to people, animals, and the planet.
A well-fed world is one in which people are spared the suffering and early mortality from diseases of deprivation (hunger and malnutrition) -- and diseases of excess (heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes).
A well-fed world is one in which food is produced and distributed in ways that prioritize personal and planetary health for current and future generations.
Why Plant-Based Foods...
Industrialized meat, dairy and egg production is rising at an alarming rate. The United Nations predicts meat consumption will double between 2000-2050, and that 60-70% more food will need to be produced to feed the predicted 9-10 billion people in 2050.
There is widespread agreement that increasing livestock numbers and meat (over)consumption are "major threats." Despite this, decisionmakers and advocates have historically focused on technological fixes to increase food supply and population planning/control to reduce food demand.
The relatively easy-to-implement strategy of reducing animal consumption has been neglected.
A Well-Fed World seeks to remedy this by:
- Advancing the benefits of sustainable, plant-based solutions in response to global food security and environmental concerns, most specifically to mitigate hunger and climate change.
- Encouraging think tanks, social justice leaders, and decisionmakers to promote the benefits and increase the accessibility of plant-based foods in their policies and recommendations.
- Providing resources and educational materials to changemakers and the general public that improve food choices, especially among high-income, high-consuming populations where there is access to alternatives.
- Empowering groups and individuals with financial and material assistance, especially groups in low-income and otherwise disenfranchised communities.
Cycling crops through animals to produce animal-sourced foods is inefficient and detrimental to food security and climate change efforts.
Demand for animal products is not "given" or "fixed." Demand is created by habit, cultural institutions, politics, and financial interests. Demand for animal products can be reduced through education campaigns, improved political priorities, and financial incentives/disincentives.
Reducing the production and consumption of animal-sourced foods is a much-neglected but necessary "part of the solution," especially for high-consuming populations.
While a large-scale transition away from animal-sourced foods is not a panacea, it will drastically improve key areas of concern for the planet and its inhabitants.
A Well-Fed World's precursor "Plants4Hunger" began as an online research and educational tool in 1999 in response to the International Food Policy Research Institute's (IFPRI) Livestock to 2020 report. This policy brief warned of the world's rapidly increasing livestock numbers, but did not seek to slow or reverse the trend because they deemed the increased consumption of foods from animal origins as "demand-driven."
The report acknowledged the benefits of "well-meaning development partners" who wanted to include recommendations that the world's high consuming populations reduce their consumption, because they treated "demand-driven livestock revolution" as a given and not something that could be meaningfully influenced or incentivised towards reduction. Their acknowledgement, then explicit omission, of such a practical and commonsense strategy to stem the staggering increases in global meat consumption (and the resulting food insecurity and environmental destruction) was the impetus to create the Plants4Hunger resource for other researchers, policymakers, civil society advocates, and the general public.
A decade later, in 2009, Plants4Hunger expanded to become A Well-Fed World, a program-based, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) hunger relief organization supporting plant-based food and farming at the community level, while improving global food security by advancing plant-based food choices and policies at the decisionmaking level.