Just make it happen

Ready or not, here comes the new year. It seems with each of the passing three years, everybody has said, “Man, I am so happy to see this one go by.” Well, I have a bit of disturbing news, it will be like this for quite some time to come unless we keep up the battle.

In the past two weeks I have uncovered a couple bits of troubling information that we really need to set as our discussion going forward: population control, food waste and food availability.

First, let me share some stark statistics that I have learned from Kip Tom, former ambassador to the World Food Programme. He once told me that in 1920 the world population was 2 billion people and 80% of the population had some level of food insecurity. In today’s world, we have nearly 8 billion people on earth and 20% of the population has a food security issue. That doesn’t mean they have starvation issues, they are just not always sure where their next meal will come from.

We would not have a food production problem if we could keep all the governments of the world out of the way.

Recently I found current statistics that lead us to understand that 1 out of every 3 pounds of food produced is not eaten by humans. In fact, it is not even disputed that 1.3 billion tons of food per year, valued at approximately $1 trillion, goes to waste. There is so much food waste in landfills that it is emitting carbon dioxide at the level equivalent to that of the third largest CO2 emitting country in the world.

A report issued by President Richard Nixon in 1969 talked about “the problem” of population growth. President Nixon’s words in 1969 served as a precursor to his formation of a commission to study America’s “population problem,” a group tasked with the goal of achieving “population stabilization” by the dawn of the 21st Century.

I have read the entire 57-page report issued by Nixon and it speaks to the importance of government controlling everything from reproduction to diet to restricting family reunions. The conclusion of this report created a committee and none other than John D. Rockefeller III was tasked as the chairman of the Population Control Commission.

In 1972, Rockefeller issued the commission’s report, which included this statement. “After two years of concentrated effort, we have concluded that, in the long run, no substantial benefits will result from further growth of the nation’s population, rather that the gradual stabilization of our population through voluntary means would contribute significantly to the nation’s ability to solve its problems.”

It is reported that because Nixon was focused on re-election at that time, he rejected the findings but if you follow what has been happening since 1972, we have been living it.

Here is the real moral of the story. We have no problem creating innovation that will continue to produce more food with fewer inputs. Although, like in many matters these days, common sense and reality don’t seem to play a role. If the leaders of the world really wanted to feed people adequately, they would first look at food waste and even better they would just get out of the way and let us make it happen. That, my friends, is our mission statement for 2023: Just make it happen.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at [email protected]