The UN recently made a decree of what vegetarians have said for years: eating less meat actually can and does help the world.
Last week, Reuters reported that the United Nations plans to put a plan in place later this month to end world hunger by 2030, which according to the organization, is totally doable. The world just needs to adopt slightly different eating habits first, including consuming less red meat.
While a recent study found that eating less red meat has a significant impact on protecting the environment, like other studies have also found in the past, it's not the main driver behind their future push to change the world's hunger problem. The "change in diet" initiative is aimed at reallocating resources properly.
According to officials, there's enough food in the world for everyone. Hunger is just a cause of a food distribution problem isn't allotting enough food for everyone. For instance, the UN says that eating meat once a week, instead of four, would help commodity prices go down, which would mean less food would be needed to feed animals and overall food prices would be cheaper for lower-income people.
They hope that eventually farmers would transition to producing mostly grains and vegetables instead of livestock.
"It's not going to be easy, but if you look at the arithmetic, it is achievable," Jomo Sundaram, assistant director-general of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told Reuters.
Other issues Reuters reports the UN hopes will change is the amount of food countries waste — richer countries can conserve by learning to use up food that would have gone to waste and developing countries by adopting better refrigeration systems (that will help foods last longer).
With 1 in 9 people in the world without enough food, or malnourished, these practices are necessary for the United Nations to meet its goal. Though hard, past initiatives have proved efforts such as the ones outlined above are not impossible.
"I don't think it's all that ambitious to eliminate hunger," Sundaram said.
Luigi Guarino, senior scientist with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, suggests that even switching to crops that can sustain themselves in higher temperatures can help with the initiative. He agrees with Sundaram.
"There is no silver bullet to reaching the goal (of eliminating hunger)," he said. "But even if we get 80 percent there, it's well worth it."