WorldWatch Institute program highlights solutions to world hunger

We in America have grown up hearing how we live in a world of plenty, and for many of us, that has been true.

But hundreds of millions of the world’s human residents have so much less than ‘plenty’, they don’t even have adequate food.

WorldWatch Institute, which tracks human welfare around the globe, reports that 265 million people are malnourished, and continue to suffer from food shortages because they lack the ability to safely store crops or keep produce fresh.

WorldWatch sponsors a program, Nourishing the Planet, that’s taking a closer look at how to alleviate hunger in Africa and elsewhere, and not necessarily through food giveaways, but through innovative solutions that help imperiled populations become more food secure.

The project’s team members have pinpointed one cause of food scarcity that can be found in SubSaharan Africa and in the United States: Food waste.

Worldwatch Report: A Hopeful Note For 2008

By Barbara Kessler

Despite dire warnings about calamitous climate change and precipitous declines in earth’s natural resources, human beings are not frozen on the train tracks waiting for impact. In turns out we are pushing back energetically at the forces that state-of-the-world.jpgwould consume the planet, according to a Worldwatch Institute report released this week.

Entrepreneurs, governments and nonprofits are “inventing the Earth’s first sustainable global economy” and “field testing a remarkable array of economic innovations that offer surprising and hopeful new opportunities for long term prosperity,” according to the report, “State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy.”

This is not the “doom and gloom” we often hear in mainstream media reports, explains Tom Prugh, a co-director with Gary Gardner, of the report. The project brought together work by more than a dozen researchers and experts in energy, industrial production, species conservation, investment and sustainability.

The cumulative report is “completely, totally hopeful,’’ Prugh said. “That’s what’s so striking about it…This crisis had tapped reservoirs of imagination and unleashed waves of innovation.

“People are starting to get the message. NGO (non-government organizations) like us and some governments have been banging the sustainability drum for some years, decades now. But business is catching up to that now.”