Adopting A Plant-based Lifestyle Can Alleviate World Hunger

By Linda Oaksford, COTM Chair

(Part 3 of 4 articles)

Over 800 million people on our earth do not have enough food to lead healthy active lives, and poor nutrition causes nearly half of deaths in children under the age of five.  (www.wfp.org/hunger/stats)

Animals are a very inefficient food source, and they consume far more food than they give us. Ninety percent of food consumed by an animal is used for the animal’s metabolism, leaving only ten percent for food for humans. Ten pounds of grain can feed 20-30 people, or it can be fed to a cow, where these same ten pounds of grain produce only one pound of meat, which feeds only 2-4 people. (source: US Department of Agriculture)

As shown by this graphic, producing meat is a very inefficient way of feeding humans. It takes eighteen times more land to feed an omnivore than it does a vegan. (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

As shown by this graphic, producing meat is a very inefficient way of feeding humans. It takes eighteen times more land to feed an omnivore than it does a vegan. (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

If we continue to eat the standard western diet and the population of the world continues to grow, by 2050, it will be impossible to sustain the projected nine billion people on our planet.  (http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger)

Food fed to livestock, both animal and plant-based, could be fed to humans with an exponential increase in efficiency. By moving to a plant-based diet and by feeding humans and not livestock, we can save the planet and all of our inhabitants from undue suffering.

So, what do many vegans enjoy for breakfast, if they don’t eat eggs and bacon, with buttered toast?  Here’s a simple breakfast adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, that we enjoy and it takes only minutes to make.

Tofu Scramble with Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces soft tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, parsley, tarragon, or marjoram

Directions

  1. Crumble tofu into ¼ to ½-inch pieces.  Spread tofu on paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain for 20 minutes; then gently press dry with paper towels.  Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bell pepper and shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in crumbled tofu, salt, curry powder, and pepper and cook until tofu is hot, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and serve.

VARIATION:  Omit red bell pepper.  Add 1 seeded and finely chopped tomato and 1 minced garlic clove to pan with shallot in step 1; cook until tomato is no longer wet, 3 to 5 minutes.  Substitute 2 tablespoons minced scallions for basil.

(optional:  add any chopped vegetables you like, i.e., mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, white or sweet potatoes, etc.)

If you have a favorite vegan recipe, please send it to Linda Oaksford, so that it can be shared in an issue of The Meridian.