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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

The Food Program

By Becky Streeter

The current population of the world is somewhere around 7.5 billion. It is projected to be 8.6 by 2023, and almost 10 billion by 2050. More people means fewer resources including land, healthy air, and food. As of 2022, as many as 828 million people regularly went to bed hungry, and that number stands to be a lot higher by 2050. The World Resources Institute (WRI) is just one of many amazing organizations out there trying to make a change.

WRI’s goal is to “fundamentally transform the way the world produces food, uses energy, and designs its cities to create a better future for all.” They work globally in partnerships with governments, businesses and research organizations to help meet people’s basic needs while protecting and restoring nature and stabilizing climate. One of their key projects is the Food Program.

Today’s agriculture uses almost half the world’s vegetated land, and, in tandem, food production generates a fourth of global greenhouse gas emissions. An even more gut-wrenching statistic to add is 1 billion tons of that food is wasted every year.

WRI’s Food Program currently encompasses nine different projects with the same goal: to find solutions to the world’s food production and consumption problems. They measure and reduce food waste and loss, and create strategies to increase food production, such as restoring degraded lands and increasing pasture land yields. They also encourage dining facilities to move to plant-based foods, and help institute climate-smart agriculture around the world.

Some of the initiatives within the Food Program include:

  1. Circular Food Systems for Rwanda - Food is produced in ways that regenerate nature, it is not lost or wasted, and commonly wasted resources are used productively. WRI is hoping Rwanda will be a leader in circular economy as it is already leaps ahead of many other countries. For example, Rwanda has been fighting plastic pollution since banning single-use plastic bags in 2008.

  2. Food Waste Atlas - Tracks global food waste, helping governments and businesses understand how food waste/loss is occurring, and then they can create a sustainable system to prevent that waste.

  3. Climate-Friendly Diets - Assisting restaurants, universities and hospitals to provide more plant-based options and help shift behaviors so more consumers choose these options.

For more information, or to get involved, visit the WRI website

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