According to Ellen Gustafson of the 30 Project, the last thirty years have seen enormous changes in our food and agricultural systems, such as the consolidation of agriculture in the United States and abroad and the move towards highly-refined, processed food as the bulk of our diets. The 30 Project is based on an interesting idea — global hunger and the obesity epidemic are linked through our food production and supply systems.
Ellen Gustafson is the co-founder of the FEED Foundation, which has fed over 50 million school meals to children in the developing world in less than two years. She’s active in the fight against hunger. The 30 Project seeks to bring together food and agriculture organizations and activists to change these systems over the next thirty years.
On the web site for the 30 Project, there are thirty facts about hunger and obesity. Some of these facts, when juxtaposed, create food for thought. Fact 20 says that 30% of the global population is malnourished (about 2.4 billion people). Fact 2 says that one billion people are hungry. Fact 9 says that another one billion people are overweight. It seems obvious to me that facts 20 and 2 overlap significantly, but what about facts 9 and 20? How many of the overweight people are also malnourished?
Beyond just thinking about our food systems, the 30 Project also suggests that ordinary citizens (like you and me) get together in groups of thirty for dinner to discuss local and regional food systems. With a timeframe of thirty years, it seems like we could get a lot done.
Resources: Ellen Gustafson’s TED talk about the 30 Project.