9 Billion Folks to Feed

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When one starts fending for himself, it is amazing what food source a single man can retrieve from today’s modern food outlets. While shopping recently for my staples of oatmeal, lite-bread, green salad makings and chicken thighs (which if you’re smart can make a lot of meals once baked by the gross in a Pyrex dish), I discovered the aisle made for us single guys who expound to be self-sufficient, but really are not. There to my amazement were all sorts of boxed goods containing ingredients, mostly noodles, to make full meals by just adding milk and meat from any animal you feel compelled to eat. Each item’s box label professed that in a matter of minutes you could be cooking like the man that hollers “Bam!” on TV with just about the same results.

Being pretty gullible and really hungry, I choose the store brand Hamburger Hinder and drooled all the way to the checkout, picking up a pound of ground meat on the way. The car wouldn’t go fast enough so I could get my gourmet meal started and on the table.

Carefully following the instructions, I poured, mixed and simmered all of the ingredients of the Hamburger Hinder in a covered skillet, which I discovered was almost too small, but worked all the same to achieve my final results. Those results were enough Hamburger Hinder to feed all of the children of Israel after crossing the Red Sea. And, speaking of the children of Israel, being a person of only one eating this meal, I determined that the manna they ate in the Wilderness must have been Hamburger Hinder because even after I had all I could eat, the leftovers seemed to grow each time I ate it for the next five days.

One night as I ate my Hamburger Hinder for the umpteenth time, I got to thinking about how many folks I could have fed with the beginning dish of this magical concoction. Just the amount that had spilled onto the electric range eyes and into the lower area beneath the elements, which I must remember to clean out someday, could have made a difference for a small army. I read somewhere the other day that by the year 2050 there is going to be 9 billion people to feed instead of the current 6.8 billion, so that means there will still be a place 40 years from now for Hamburger Hinder. In fact, I think what I’ve got in plastic bowls in my refrigerator right now will still be around, because I’m sure it grows every night when I close the door and the little light goes out.

Maybe I can work Hamburger Hinder into this year’s Earth Day celebration. It has got to be environmentally safe because it has so many uses and it got its start about the same time Earth Day came about. This year marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, which began way back in 1970 when I was a senior in college. Today the call is to make the planet greener. They don’t mean literally green like the color, but more environmentally green. It all sounds good to me because I have been working in green jobs since I was large enough to help with the chores around our family farm. Agriculture has always been green and if you want to go green, agriculture is the way to go.

It is good to have an Earth Day to talk about what is needed to save our environment, but it is more important to be doing something about it. If you want to go green, support our Earth’s first green industry: agriculture, which will be much more important than Hamburger Hinder to feed those extra folks in 2050.

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