The long-standing problem of feeding the Earth’s inhabitants in the near future is becoming more and more acute. Not only is the world facing the continuous increase of its population, it is also on the verge of land desertification and depletion of non-renewable natural resources. The problem of food shortage draws attention of environmentalists from all over the world. One of the environmental organizations that express deep concern in this issue is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is one of the most powerful and successful environmental groups that fights for environmental protection. The members of the NRDC work with prominent politicians, community groups, and different businesses. Among the topical issues that the NRDC is struggling to deal with are global warming; protection of endangered species; prevention of air, water and nuclear pollution; and ensuring safe and sufficient food and water supplies. Apart from the supporters in the field of law, science, and politics, it also uses the help of online activist groups to protect the environment.
As a member of the NRDC, I would like to shed light onto such issue as the promotion of the sustainable food production. Our main aim is to make the public aware of the vital problem of food shortage and influence the Congressional vote to take some measures concerning this topical problem. The world should finally understand the fact that creating sustainable food systems will become pivotal in the coming years since food production is facing a considerable challenge nowadays.
The depletion of the natural resources
The most serious issue we are facing nowadays is the depletion of the natural resources. The whole food system depends on oil both for food production and its transporting. The production of fertilizers is highly dependent on natural gas. Food manufacturing worldwide relies upon water, which non-renewable supplies are on the brink of complete exhaustion. Consequently, the depletion of water resources will have an adverse effect on food production. Therefore, we should set aims of using the resources wisely and thriftily. In order to tackle this problem, we should make aware as many people as possible. Without a doubt, this task is virtually impossible to accomplish without certain PR strategies for anticipating and solving the present problems. The primary objectives of the Council are to organize meetings, thus attracting attention from the general public, spread brochures and newsletters and in such a way demonstrate the urgency of the problem, and create blogs and web-pages online dedicated to the burning issue of the exhaustion of the natural resources.
The problem of food
In addition, the problem of food waste is becoming more and more intractable. To feed the US population, it is necessary to have a vast amount of land and natural resources. Still, it has been estimated that approximately 40 per cent of food is wasted. A significant part of waste is produced by consumers. If people threw away 5 per cent less food, it would suffice to feed 4 million people more; 20 per cent less dumped food would be enough to feed 25 million of the undernourished. In an average American household, fresh products are prone to be thrown away: fresh fish, eggs, milk, fruits, and vegetables are wasted since some people purchase too much of them, and they are not able to eat them before they are rotten.
Solution of the food problem
Certain measures can be taken to reverse the process of food waste. Firstly, it is advisable to avoid excessive consumerism and buy only products that are really needed and that will be definitely used in food preparation. This will save both the budget and the environment. Random purchases result in throwing away half of the products. Secondly, it would be good to learn how to preserve food in a good condition as long as possible, for instance, freezing the leftovers till the next use. Moreover, one more means of tackling the problem of food waste would be ordering smaller portions of food in restaurants and requesting the restaurant staff to pack the left food so that it can be eaten later and not thrown away into the garbage bin. An excellent way to popularize such preservation of food would be offering clients to take food left after a mealtime in a café or a restaurant.
NRDS specialists together with food manufacturers, distributors, and major work companies work towards the common goal of sustainability of food accessible to everyone. The Council is negotiating with the leaders of food manufacturing to take the most urgent steps so as to make some changes in the way natural resources are used in the process of growing food. Our aim is to establish regional food systems around big cities that could be a role model for sustaining regional landholders, at the same time making fresh fruits and vegetables accessible and affordable for urban residents. We have warned of the possible consequences of food loss – the amount of food that takes place from farm to fork, producing an outcome of depletion of non-renewable natural resources and increased costs on food production. Having made such efforts, we encourage people to use water more efficiently, rely less on the usage of pesticides and fertilizers while growing crops, cut down on food waste, and provide a healthy future for food producers and farmers.
While talking about agricultural production, we should keep in mind that the issue of feeding the world is contentious, and it should be tackled by protecting the environment, preventing the food waste, and improving the life quality. Most people criticize organic food for lacking the capacity to feed the population in the coming years. Nevertheless, conventional farming is not the way to tackle the world’s malnutrition.