7/18/12

Oxfam GROW Method Helps Fight Hunger

Oxfam’s GROW Method emphasizes the power women have to catalyze change and suggests five simple steps for feeding their families healthy, delicious meals that will put the global food system on the road to recovery:

Eat less meat: Access to water is essential to food security and more than 1.6 billion people live in areas facing water scarcity. Meat production soaks up 8 percent of the world’s water supply. If American moms were to feed their families lentils or other beans instead of beef once per week they would save 6,000 liters of water each meal. That’s the equivalent of seventeen bathtubs of fresh water filled to the brim and then some every week, or twelve and a half Olympic sized swimming pools per family over the course of one year.

Reduce food waste: About a third of all food produced for people’s plates goes to waste. In the six countries surveyed one in six apples ends up in the garbage– that’s 5.3 billion apples every year. Lined up side by side those apples would stretch more than nine times around the Earth. The greenhouse gases produced in the growth, trade and decomposition of these apples is equivalent to the burning of 10 million barrels of oil every day, more than the US imports. Only buying the apples we need and storing them in the refrigerator would help cut down on this waste.

Support small-scale and sustainable food producers: If consumers in Brazil, UK, USA and Spain ensure two of the chocolate bars they buy each month are Fair Trade it would add up to over 12.5 billion chocolate bars a year - this action alone could help transform the lives of people who live and work on 90,000 small scale cocoa farms across the globe.

Cook smarter: Simple changes in how we prepare food such as putting a lid on a pan when cooking, using the right amount of water to cook vegetables and reducing the heat as soon as water starts to boil – can cut the amount of energy we use in cooking by up to 70 percent and to help prevent climate impacts from hurting poor farmers. If women in the 6 surveyed countries took simple steps like this it would be the equivalent of planting 540 million tree seedlings and letting them grow for a decade.

Buy Seasonal: A lot of energy is wasted growing food in the wrong place at the wrong time of year. We can save enormous amounts of energy and cut greenhouse emissions just by eating more of what’s in season near us.

For more information, visit the Oxfam America Facebook page and Pinterest page.

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