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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

A Solution to World Hunger?


I’m Mike and today we’re going to take a critical look at global food distribution, food inequality, and how some dietary shift could change the game for hungry people around the world. In order to understand the current food distribution inequality on Earth, I want to hop right into a philosophical thought experiment, which was brought to my attention by its creator: Ian Harper. It is his master’s of philosophy thesis, and he calls it Microcosm Island. It is simply a representation of our planet today, distilled into an island of just 100 people. As he stated in his thesis: In other words if earth was distilled onto an island of just a hundred people it would be Microcosm Island, and here it is. I have modeled it in 3D in a sort of simple floating island there are the 100 people. Looking at wealth the richest single person owns 50% of all of the island’s wealth. Half of the wealth on the island: complete inequality. And in terms of diet at least 86 out of the 100 people eat meat. At most 14 of them are vegetarian, and probably less than 1, but about 1, will say is vegan. but most disconcerting of all? Well there are 21 overweight people, there are 16 people who are malnourished or starving. To add insult to injury on Microcosm Island, they are raising, feeding, and killing 1,000 land animals per year. That’s 10 animals for every person. In order to support these farm animals, and allow them to produce eggs and milk, the island feeds them 1/3 to 1/2 of all of their grain, uses 30% of their limited land supply, and about 1/3 of all of their fresh water. But in terms of wild animals, there are only about 12 humans worth of wild land animal biomass on the entire island. Another crazy fact: this island of 100 people actually produces enough food to feed 130 people but instead of feeding the 16 malnourished or hungry people, they have fed it to animals. Idiots. And the vast majority of the calories fed to animals are thrown away as they were funneled down into a less efficient source of calories, instead of just being fed directly to humans. And no, animals are not perpetual protein machines. If you trace back all the protein and animals, it came from plants. And according to the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we too can get all our protein from plants. For athletes, pregnancy, etc, So to summarize, Microcosm Island is really dumb, not fair, and could use some major help. And again, this is us. We are that dumb island. And a quick note, all of those statistics and facts I just mentioned are from actual Earth and will be linked in the description below. Yes, while the richest populations on Earth are eating animal products and over-consuming often to the point of death, 16% of the world remains hungry, and we are feeding 70 billion land animals a year. Now I will say this: as a vegan I wouldn’t expect the widespread adoption of a vegan diet to fix every single system on earth and feed every single hungry person, but it would make a massive difference in the feasibility of feeding as many hungry people as we can. From Cornell, we have known for 20 years that we can feed every hungry person on earth with the grain fed to animals in the United States alone. And in terms of shifting to a vegan diet as this study estimated a vegan diet uses 1/8 as much land as the baseline diet. In terms of Earth currently, from the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization], of the 13.4 billion hectares of total land on Earth, about 1.5 billion hectares is used for crops, well there’s another 2.7 billion hectares that is suitable for crop production. Where is that land? Well, from the University of Wisconsin, satellite estimates 3.4 billion hectares is currently used for grazing livestock. We can take this ridiculously large amount of grazing land that currently exists, and shift it to crop production, and that would result in a ridiculous amount of food that some credible organization has yet to calculate. But for fun, lets calculate it anyway. We are currently growing enough food for 10 billion people, and using the FAO’s estimates for a total suitable cropland, we could be growing enough food for 25 to 30 billion people in a vegan system. Now you might be thinking: even if we had all this extra food that doesn’t mean it would make it into the mouths of hungry people. But it seems that everybody accepts the proposition from large agricultural companies like Monsanto that growing more food, producing more, having more food is the solution. Well by just not feeding it to animals, we have more food. So if you buy their argument, that more food is better, then you can’t really deny the vegan argument that freeing up more food is better. And in terms of geographically getting this extra food to hungry people as Richard Oppenlander highlighted in his book, so in most cases the food already is next door, it’s just a matter of letting the people who need to eat it, eat it. And that brings me to supply and demand, and that is one often used criticism of why a vegan diet couldn’t feed the world, simply that it doesn’t follow the rules of supply and demand. You know that the people who are growing the crops and feeding them to animals are only doing it because of the money, and that no matter how much extra food we free up by not feeding into animals, poor people still won’t be able to afford it, but one economic question worth asking here, is what would happen to land prices if we all of a sudden needed to grow half as much grain? As the FAO mentioned, we use so that would be almost 1/3 more crop land. And remember that 1/3 of freshwater that we use on livestock, so I would argue that a massive decrease in demand for land and water would drive the prices of farming way down. It would make it cheaper for people in poverty to buy or rent land and then water their crops to grow their own food because a lot of food inequality has to do with a lack of access to farmland and high costs of fresh water. And another point to add, a lot of wars in developing nations are over these very same resources: land and water. So how would all of these resources being freed up affect the rates of war? So, to sum it up, obviously feeding the world presents a lot of challenges in terms of inequality and politics, but whatever those challenges are: having more land, and more grain, and more water, by shifting to a vegan diet would make those challenges easier to overcome. It would take a massive amount of strain off in terms of resources, potentially free up cheaper farmland for people that need it, possibly prevent some resource wars, and really just increase our chances of feeding as many people as possible. Because we can’t simply make more land emit more CO2, and use more resources to feed everyone meat. From Ian Harper’s master thesis, he concludes: Finally if you are interested in further action on this subject, feel free to check out the non-profit: a well-fed world, and get involved with them. They are actively involved in trying to feed the world with plants. For example, they provide five Ethiopian schools with vegan food, these schools had vegan menus anyway, and also highlighting projects like getting seeds to people in food insecure areas. Alright that’s it for today, thank you for watching. Go vegan, help feed the world. Like and subscribe, and hit that notification bell, otherwise you basically might as well not be subscribed and I will see you next time.

100 thoughts on “A Solution to World Hunger?

  1. I realize this video goes a little fast so feel free to pause and read stuff!
    Note: I am wearing mineral sunscreen in this video that makes me look a bit pasty. Last time I did this in a video (oil video) I got a ton of comments by people saying a vegan diet will turn you into a ghastly, unhealthy zombie lollll – Nope, just the sunscreen. Living under a bridge will have that effect though. Nice try trolls.

  2. Could you be an absolute sweetheart and debunk the following article that claims vegetarians dont live longer/ healthier than meat eaters?

    Vegetarian diet and all-cause mortality: Evidence from a large population-based Australian cohort – the 45 and Up Study.

    Mihrshahi S, et al. Prev Med. 2017.

    keep up the great work.

  3. so I have a handful of friends who are terrified of wheat. I don't have any solid data about wheat right bc I'm lazy. haha have you done any videos about wheat yet? are you planning to? thanks!!

  4. shortage of fruit n especially lettuce greens in shelters n food banks,,,demand animal breeders to convert to veg. farming

  5. homeless shelters throw out big bagful s if meat eggs n cheese fish,yet lettuce is missing for often 3 days in a row,sometimes taken home by workers already paid a salary n fed 2 meals during their work days at shelters

  6. Mic you should do a video on organic foods! I recently learned that there are organic pesticides which could potentially be more toxic than conventional ones. And how does organic farming effect the environment? I'd love to hear your take on this.

  7. PLEASE PLEASE MIC! Mke a video on gluten! Everything about it has made me shit scared. So I am a "gluten free" vegan. I dont even eat zeitan.

  8. So I just started watching and this is sort of a dumb question but someone recently asked me how I know that like chemicals and added hormones are bad for you, how do you know it's unhealthy to eat an apple covered in wax? is there a video that addresses that?

  9. You sometimes recommend/refer to books in your videos, but could you make a whole video on literature you recommend on healthy nutrition/vegan diet/ etc. I know there are some great ones out there..china study, how not to die. There are so many though 🙂 I'd be interested in your favourites.

  10. We have waste and huge waste. We have food to feed all the hunger in the world. Supermarkets are tossing good food into garbage.

  11. Killing half of the world population will not only solve world hunger, but global warming and destruction of nature as well, going vegan is lame and will never happen

  12. I had to come here and watch something like this after I mentioned how sanctuary pigs need to take painkillers for their knee failure due to genetically modified to have a huge belly to produce more meat for humans when they were eating bbq. I expected to be completely ignored but instead, I got a stream of yelling well, guess that tells you that makes them feel bad=feel something. I won't do it again but It's hard to shut up 😀

  13. The REAL answer is birth control, no people, no hunger. Let's start with preventing births for about 35 years, and work our way through providing more food from there.

  14. This video and many of your other videos are great because they're informative AND when I turn them on my roommate leaves the room! Win-win!

  15. Haha I went into you're channel wanting to hate you. But you make great arguments and you obviously put a lot of work into this.

  16. also if the government wasn't subsidizing the animal industry any more (because everyone went vegan) they could subsidize plants instead? making it even more cheaper for everyone? just a thought

  17. There is allready enough food to feed the world population.
    The problem is the economic system. It's more profitable to use grains for fuel, or simply destroy food before you hand it out for free or a to low price to those who can't afford it.
    Changing everyone to a vegan diet won't level those gaps in economic power and as long as food distribution is profit driven people are going to starve, no matter what diet this profit driven food industry supports.
    The problem with such thought experiments is that they don't take factors as economic power or profit driven economy into account.

    Furthermore the modell falls short because it assumes that the circumstances are the same all over the island.
    I live in a very water rich country, right know it would be extremely unprofitable to export that water. However we have more water than our agriculture needs.
    And it would be feasible to produce animal products without relying on imported grains or taking away agricultural lands, as there are pastures unfit for agriculture. It's what some small farmers actually do and what has been done for the last hundreds of years – but then you can't sustain diets where everybody eats meat more than once a month.

    Yes – consuming animal products, other than wild animals (an here in middle europe some wild animals are about 300% more than their natural population would be and are a great strain on the woods – so theres plenty of them), is a luxury paid for, by third world countries. And yes, feeding less biomatter to farmanimals would lower the cost.
    But I can't see how in an Industry that rather burns excess grains to drive prices up, instead of donating them, would be any different when we all where vegans.
    Furthermore the Places where droughts lead to armed conflict (Syria being the latest example, but also the Chad and Mali) lack water because of th changing climate.
    The droughts in Mali did affect herding nomads the most, that allready life in an environment not fit for agriculture.
    And yes i know that Animal production is the number one climate killer. But most vegans that I know are extremely proud and smug about how they save the climate while relying on a diet that is to great extents imported either by burning lots of amounts of fossil fuels.

    Feeding hungry people is simply not profitably.
    You'd have to change capitalism first, which is a can of worms that most vegans don't even dare to touch with a stick. indeed most are perfectly happy as long as big food gigants that patent plant genes, kill independent small farmingand have no qualms about letting thousands of people starve, produce a vegan ready made meal that they can buy in their local supermarket.
    I mean people are dying in their thousands from diseases that we could cure, but giving away the medicine for free would hurt our economy. I don't see how capitalism would work any different with vegan diets as a basis. As long as somebody is to poor he will be left to die.

  18. About the supply-demand part: I think that (in an ideal (and maybe future) situation, plants will be highly demanded. It is now sold to the bio-industry and in a vegan world to supermarkets etc for human consumption. So we really need to wake up!!

  19. Okay I told these things to a few friends of mine and response was "then you should stop living in a house and give that area to to plant fruits and vegetables"

  20. The solution is freedom. These countries need to be left alone and let them start their own Industrial Revolution while we the West get less involved and start to innovate technologies that can counteract whatever contributions humans have added to "climate change". There's some food for thought.

  21. if everyone didn't participate in christmas for one year and instead spent the same amount of money toward feeding the poor, we could end world hunger for a year

  22. Thank you so much for your videos. They really give me hope in the future and also confidence in being a vegetarian. Most of the time I'm judged by every meat eater I know. It would be okay if we could have like good conversations and debates about diets and health, and if they were actually interested in diets such as vegetarianism enough to search more information and form arguments based on that information, but just instead know nothing about "substitutes for meat" such as beans and are relaying on beliefs such as "protein is the most important part of diet" and "iron can be only found in meat" because that's what they have heard. Some people might just be too insecure to believe in anything that is rare or different, so they only want to believe in these common beliefs, if this what I'm saying makes sense.

  23. I think if the whole world loved Jesus and was vegan it would be a perfect place. But humanity is broken and corruption happens so that will never happen.

  24. I am addicted to your amazing videos!!!! You inspired me to start this petition on change.org: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-farming-animals-is-unnecessary-please-stop-now?recruiter=258210791&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=triggered

  25. hi i am a veg. can we pls scorp up on some veg talk, would love to pick your brian ab daily crack. talk soon veg bro xoxo veg bro guy

  26. The problem with this is the grain argument to feed the population instead of animals.

    Studies show that grains (and foods with added sugar and carb-rich root vegetables such as potato) contribute to the growth of Candida in the stomach- bad news. Candida (and other similar Fungi/organisms that start within the stomach) is almost the root cause (or number one contributor at least) to every disease known to man- including diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer's. Whilst there is no concrete evidence, studies have noticed that vegan diets can contribute to higher Candida levels- although there are too many contributing factors to really support this hypothesis.

    Apparently, the best sustainable/ most efficient way to feed humans and keep them healthy is from lab-grown meat and/ or start farming bugs/ insects alongside a hunter-gatherer's way of doing things.

    A non-vegan lifestyle isn't the cause of the negatives bought up in this video. This has more to do with Capitalism and policy making decisions.

  27. Wow amazen this guy on youtube has a solution for world hunger. The world can now be as one, like that john lennon song.

  28. You don't really address any of the other issues with world hunger, such as governments not supporting their local farmers, countries that cannot compete with industrialized countries (whether it be more labor required due to lack of tools or simply inferior crops), or that a large portion of farmers in poor countries focus more heavily on growing exported goods rather than crops for their own country (because they cannot compete with imported food).

  29. Mic the Vegan – The amount of food isn't the only factor to solve world hunger.

    You also need to change the economy, politics, religion and culture in every country if you want to solve world hunger.

  30. Veganism is one of the most unhealthy things you can do because you won't get vitamin b12 which is essential for survival so no you can't get all of your vitamins from plants you're just starving yourself that's why you're so skinny it's because you're malnourished and you keep having to buy vitamin pills to keep yourself alive

  31. Communism would be a better approach to feeding the hungry and it has the benefit of having already succeeded multiple times

  32. Many of the points I agree are compelling, but I have some questions and comments.
    In considering that some countries can feed much more than their own population, what about adverse effects of transportation on climate change and pollution for example? Are there studies that factor these in?

    In my home country, Australia, many farmers have a shortage of water downstream because of cotton and rice production upstream. My point is simply that the problem isn't always animal production – and I understand the problem is the system that allows this to happen, rather than the actual crops.

    And related to a different video, but a point you raised – there is no cholesterol in plant based food. This is totally correct, but conveniently leaves out the fact that saturated fat from coconuts for example, is so high that it contributes to high (bad) cholesterol. I love the way you "fight your fight" except when it comes to cherry picking and what appears to be deliberately leaving info out. (At least you aren't habitual at it like Dr Michael (?) Greger.

  33. Solution to eliminate Worls hunger : solution would be brought by sending preservatives to third world coutries and educating them so they don't breed like rabits in heat in places that have no ressources …

  34. In a perfect world where humans cared enough for each other, this could work but things like religion and selfish interests come into play. But there’s a lot of things that affect poverty — How do you suggest we get an equal health care and education system all over the world?

  35. Plants require water, if we grew this many we would have major water shortages are you trying to dry up our last fresh water sources?

  36. Have you always wanted to make a difference in the world ?
    Grow trees 🌲
    Fight hunger🚫 🍽
    Make people happy 😊
    Ext… go to my new video and hashtags and learn how you can participate #alexisgoaltochangetheworld #partofprojectctwwa

  37. You want to save the planet by starving animals to death, by converting the world's land into farms that are for human consumption only? So much for saving the planet.

  38. "Nick's World Solution for Hunger with Nick's Pasta Pancakes". Blenderized pasta with various basic ingredients such as vegetables. How about mushroom, potato, artichoke, asparagus etc. The ingredients are to be made into pancake form and then vacuumed packed. Vacuumed packed sauce as well. 2 pancakes for lunch and 2 pancakes for dinner for all 10 Billion people worldwide. I have surmised a production cost of 240 Billion Dollars per year for 2.4 Trillion pancakes. Breakfast is to be vacuumed packed cereal and vacuumed packed milk. My world saving products can be air-dropped anywhere in the world. We can reach and feed the most desolate places on earth with restaurant quality vacuumed packed food. P.S. 100 pound bags of rice sent to Africa are a tremendous insult to humanity. How are villagers without a kitchen supposed to boil water for the rice? Why not be completely ridiculous then and hold "The Bill Cosby Tennis Open" right in the middle of Zimbabwe?

  39. Mic I love you and your channel but if you want to talk about economic topics you've gotta library up on the topic. I recommend you start with Thomas Sowell.

  40. Is there not another way apart from going vegan? War propaganda has a lot to do with it. Blocking food abd accessibility is a real thing.

  41. Even if it were possible, McConnell and republicans would invent a reason not to allow it for debate or a vote. Not literally, just an illustration of the useless human jello that are republicans and any motivation they have towards anything but the next time they can get close to the treasury to rifle it …selectively for their wealthy who keep them in office.

  42. I’m a vegan but I have a question, what will happen to all of the livestock if vegan diet became more popular?

  43. You're an idiot who doesn't factor in the massive economic collapse resulting from collapse of industries revolving around meat and animal products…

    Like you Legit think if everyone right now quit animals the world would be able to function? Your island metaphor is flawed because it doesn't factor in economics.

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