A 50:30:20 WW:Rye:Red Fife loaf
This is just a 30% Rye, since Red Fife is a type of wheat. For one of the loaves I didn't put any rice flour in the basket while proofing, and the crust was burnished like an old copper penny.
|2 loaves, a penny, and some sourdough chocolate chip cookies|
|Loaf is kinda flat. Cookie is kinda fat.|
Now Serving 7 Billion
Nobody knows for sure exactly how many people there are on this planet: after all, on the average there are four births and 2 deaths every second. So it's hard to keep track. But I just read a report that says we've passed the 7 billion mark, and the tally is still rising.
Back around the time I was born, there were about 3 billion people on the globe. The number has more than doubled today. By 2041, there will be 9 billion, and by 2081, 10 billion (if the projections hold).
We don't really know the carrying capacity of the earth's agriculture for human sustenence. Malthus showed that population is limited to subsistence; and it seems he was right at least in his prediction that population will increase so long as we have an increase in subsistence. Since the latest so-called "green revolution", we've had that increase in subsistence, and likewise the increase in population.
The question I wanted to ask here: "How are we going to feed all these people?" You frequently hear that it is not that we don't have enough food to go around, it is just that we are not very good at distribution that causes all the famine in the world. So is this true, or not?
Let's just look at wheat production and see where we are at.
I regularly bake 2 loaves from 1000g of wheat. And this could, if I was careful, last me about a week. It frequently doesn't because I like to bake, I like to experiment, and I give some loaves away. But let's say each of us could more or less make due with a minimum of 1000g of wheat flour every week. The details here are not going to be exact, of course. I once baked a loaf with 450g of whole wheat berries that only gave me 428g of flour. So there may be about a 6% loss of weight if you grind the grain into flour. But let's see what happens with the numbers anyway.
Let's say that everyone needs 2 loaves/week minimum, and that's 1000g of flour.
That's 52,000g per person each year.
Now multiply that by 7 billion (7,000,000,000).
You get 364,000 billion grams (364,000,000,000,000g).
Or 364 million metric tons.
Now in 2009, the world produced 684.6 million metric tons of wheat. Which seems like a lot more than what we minimally need. But not so much more if you crank up the population numbers to 10 billion, without increasing the yields somewhat. Not to mention, making distribution less of a problem.
We regularly feed a lot of this grain to our animals, instead of eating it directly. Is this appropriate use of the grain?
One blogger took it upon himself to continue counting the burgers that McDonalds has stopped counting. The tally is not updated often, and the blogger seems to have grown bored by the attempt, stopping at 247 billion (burger patties) served. Total.
Without doing the math, I frankly don't think we can all eat a burger patty every day.
I used my sourdough discard to make some sourdough cookies. With all the starving people in the world, how can I throw away perfectly good sourdough? Doesn't seem right.
This recipe comes from Cultures For Health. I don't know much about them yet, but I like what I see so far. Their chocolate chip recipe is here.
I wasn't careful with the amount of starter I used, it wasn't a full cup, it was just 200g. So my cookies are a bit fat. They baked 15 minutes, and probably could have used a few more minutes, some of them.
Notes to Myself
- Recently there has been a lot of people saying "I am one of the 1% haves, and 99% of the world are have-nots. Tax me!", etc.
Ask yourself: What makes you think you deserve this bread you've made? It's just pure luck, pure random dumb luck, that you are able to feed yourself.
When you eat it, think of the starving people in the world that was, the world that is, and the world to come.