Oxfam Says Support World Food Day by Going Meatless

October 15th, 2012

Individuals and organizations around the globe will be celebrating World Food Day on October 16th. Get a head start this Monday with Oxfam’s GROW Method. Their five point strategy for a sustainable food system encourages consumers to go meatless one day a week to reduce water waste, cut methane emissions and help small producers. Join the movement today and make it a Meatless Monday!

Our current food system is characterized by volatile prices, corporate control, and unsustainable practices. According to Oxfam, over a billion people around the world go hungry each day. In contrast, over 50% of the population in more than half of industrialized countries has become overweight. Bringing balance to the food system is not a small or easy task, but consumers can use their spending and eating habits to make an impact.

To help us get started, Oxfam has created the GROW Method, which includes five simple points that consumers can use to make better choices. By reducing food waste, supporting small farms, eating seasonally, cooking smarter, and going meatless we can do our part to help the food system around the world.

Large-scale meat production requires a great deal of water, adding to the strain on our environmental resources. 500 grams of beef (just over a pound) takes 6,810 liters of water to produce. If you wanted to drink that much water, you would have to chug almost five gallons a day for a year! 500 grams of beans –enough to make four veggie burgers- takes just 818 liters of water to produce. So, if we swap 500g of beef for beans or lentils one day a week for a year, we could save over 311,500 liters of water!

If all the urban households in the USA, UK, Spain and Brazil made this simple swap, we could also cut over 900,000 tons of methane, making as much of a difference to the environment as taking over 3.7 million cars off the road for a year.

Having a meatless meal is one of the easiest things you can do for the impact. In an Oxfam poll, the majority of people in countries around the world said they would be comfortable with going meatless once a week. By having a Meatless Monday, consumers can also focus on better meat when they do partake, helping small-scale producers thrive.

Do your part for the global food system by celebrating World Food Day this week! You can start by downloading Oxfam’s Dinner Discussion Guide and checking out their meatless recipes. Then, share your Meatless Monday meal ideas and family dinner stories on Oxfam’s Facebook page and spread the word about World Food Day and the GROW Method to your friends and family!