Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Feeding 9 billion people by 2050

With the world population predicted to grow to 9 billion people, can local food help feed the world?

We are told that to feed the world, as we do now, food production must double by 2050. This means continuing to waste 20-30% of food and feeding grain to animals, to produce meat, that could feed 5 billion people instead.

This very good video explains this problem and includes local food production as one of the four strands in the answer to how to feed 9 billion people. As a passionate local food advocate I am disappointed that more is not made of the other benefits of a local food systems, mainly, the benefits of reconnecting people with food producers so encouraging trade and communication leading to better food knowledge.
The National Trust's Sowing Squad
This knowledge can be hugely beneficial including; using cheap seasonal products, how to cook, eating less meat, how to store over produced foods. All helping reduce waste, and consumption, in the shorter supply chain, as well as from each household.

In addition local reconnection can support schemes like BigBarn’s Crop for the Shop initiative, or as covered in a previous blog, the Chinese authorities giving seeds and compost to people living in blocks of flats. Suddenly local people can go from net consumers, to producers, as they grow their own and join the local food supply chain.

So don’t delay, join the local food industry!


  1. We, too, are advocates of local food production and gathering. Emphasis on local food is enjoyable, educational, and helps keep people connected to the seasons and to the local environment. Greater awareness of local food can also lead to people becoming better informed, more active, more passionate stewards of the local environment. Emphasis on local food also seems to contribute to local community building and social interactions in positive ways.
    However, by and large we do not see this as being any meaningful part of addressing the world’s food security challenges. The problem – and it consistently disappoints us that videos such as the one above do not meaningful address this – is human overpopulation. Deforestation, desertification, loss of biodiversity, species extinction and resource depletion will continue to accelerate until the matter of overpopulation is addressed. We are beyond skeptical that any rethinking regarding food distribution, dietary change, or technological solutions will provide any meaningful, longterm remedy. Some would have us continue chasing our tails in a cycle of chopping down more forests, planting more crops, feeding more people all while the population grows and grows and grows – until we come to the day when the last forest has been felled, the last wild fish harvested, the last new “great idea” to redistribute food, or change our diets, or raise crop production has been tried and found wanting.
    Although the challenges involved in convincing and helping people to have fewer offspring are indeed daunting, we feel strongly that other approaches to solving the co-mingled problems of food shortages, resource depletion and environmental despoliation are akin to hacking at the leaves rather than chopping at the root.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *