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This Is Uncomfortable
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Episode 147
Jan 28, 2020

We have enough (vegan) food for everyone on the planet

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Food expert and activist Frances Moore Lappé says we just have to change our habits.

You might be going animal-free, or considering it, but when Frances Moore Lappé wrote “Diet for a Small Planet” in 1971, choosing a plant-based diet was almost a revolutionary act, the stuff of hippies and health nuts.

According to a 2018 figure, the average American eats a record 220 pounds of meat a year. At the same time, vegetarianism and veganism are inching their way toward the mainstream in the U.S. and plant-based food sales are growing.

Globally, more than 800 million people are underfed each year, and a recent UN report found “the world’s land and water resources are being exploited at unprecedented rates,” exacerbating climate change and threatening future food supply.

Lappé has long argued that we already have the solution for these problems, we’re just not using our resources in a way that’s sustainable and equitable. The plant-based diet is a part of that.

So today we spend some time talking with Lappé — who has written 19 books on food and policy — asking what’s changed since the 1970s and exploring the difference a plant-based diet can make.

Plus, we read your emails about the Equal Rights Amendment and the coronavirus, and Benjamin Walker of the podcast “Theory of Everything” answers the “Make Me Smart” question.

Did you know you can watch episodes of “Make Me Smart” on YouTube? Don’t forget to tell your Echo device “make me smart” for our daily Alexa explainers, and please subscribe to our newsletter. If you missed it, here’s last week’s issue.

The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer