Big demand for food

Today’s weekly photo challenge is: Big. The first photo that came to mind was the one below, of me standing beside perhaps the biggest pile of fresh lettuce I’d ever seen. The photo was taken in Beijing, China, one of the most populous countries in the world. I wondered where this produce was going. Was it staying in Beijing to feed its millions? Where did it come from? Millions in China would probably devour this in a second.

It reminded me of the recent post I did in honor of the upcoming World Food Day on October 16th. Here are some of the highlights from the post.

Do you ever wonder how on earth we are going to feed the world? With a population of 7 billion and growing every day, how will the world come up with enough food to feed its population?

Per a recent alarming UN report on global sustainability, the forecast is frightening:

“As the world’s population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2040 from 7 billion now, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially.

Even by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water, according to U.N. estimates, at a time when a changing environment is creating new limits to supply.

And if the world fails to tackle these problems, it risks condemning up to 3 billion people into poverty”.

Who is this big pile of lettuce going to feed? Where did it come from? These are questions I can’t answer but wish I could.

To see more entries to this week’s challenge, click here.


  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Big « My 2012 Photo Challenge

  2. That’s a lot of food. But I bet if you were to take pictures of the food send to stores here it would look the same or be even more.
    Actually concerning feeding the world, I think it is also important to look at the way the food is distributed, and perhaps in the future some choices need to be made about lessening producting of some unnecessary products like soda or candy or whatever.because I feel there is an abundance of them and a lot of other products as well.

    • Yes, great point! I had never seen real lettuce sitting on a sidewalk in the middle of a huge city before! It was something else. You are so right that we waste so much in what we produce, how we produce and how much we throw away. I read that it takes the same amount of grain to produce one pound of beef as it does to feed an Ethiopian farmer for a year! I am often concerned about the effects of raising cattle has on the environment as well as the food and water supply.

      • Selvinas

        Yes raising cattle has a big effect but it depends on what you feed them!
        And not to mention all the products that need water in the productionprocess! There’s so many products that use a looooot of water….and some items we can do without…like soda ;p

        But I think people are starting to do something about this issue, at least here people are trying to reduce waste at home and during the production process as well as creating bacteria that will eat waste 🙂 There have been pilots and so far so good!

      • I sure hope so! Sometimes it is hard to not get bogged down by all the problems in the world. But I’m glad that people are making changes. We recycle everything and try to use as much of our food and leftovers as possible. Every little bit helps!

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  5. That is the biggest pile of lettuce I have ever seen Nicole. Yea – and summer is almost here – not that you’d know it. It is cold and wet today.

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