7 Billion…And Counting

This is a big number evoking serious conversation, with an invitation for the serious to listen and contribute.

9,000,000 people are expected to inhabit Earth within the next 40 years. Currently there are 7 billion people populating the planet!

We recently had the privilege to listen to James McWilliams, the “Contrarian Agrarian” as he challenged our assumptions about eating sustainably. We were faced with some serious questions:

  • Do “food miles” tell an accurate story about the impact of our daily food choices?
  • Is “eating locally” always the most responsible thing to do?
  • Is being a “locavore” even possible for more than just a small portion of Earth’s inhabitants?
  • How can we feed the Earth’s rapidly growing population in a way that is just and sustainable?

The context for these questions was the biggest query of the night, and perhaps should be the biggest question for us all as our species moves forward, “How do we feed 9 billion people?” (and I would like to add) “…and not kill the planet?”

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, but they are worth letting stew in our intellect, discussing with others, and listing to what our hearts tell us as we decide how we want to respond. I don’t know how we will feed 9 billion people, but I can tell you I don’t feel responsible to feed them. I feel a connection and a responsibility to our people here, in the Willamette Valley and Oregon. Therefore, we will continue our work raising great food and cultivating meaningful relationships. We are thankful to live where we do and be a part of the community we are connected with, of which you are a part. We will continue to look to the old mantra, “Think globally, act locally”, and hope the rest of the world does the same.

If you are interested, here is an intriguing video by National Geographic taking a look at our current population realizations. Thanks for sharing, Kody Paine!

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1 Comment

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One response to “7 Billion…And Counting

  1. Funny. I was about to go on a rant about how we don’t need to feel responsible to feed the world. Then I read further and saw you said the same thing. I truly believe you are right on! Since when did it become our responsibility to feed the world? We should first take care of our community and encourage others to do the same. From what I read our farming methods can run circles around the industrial models due to our stacking of multiple species on the same land. Not only in output but also in dollars. It’s a win-win-win.

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