02. October 2011 · Comments Off on Everybody needs to stop smoking · Categories: WTF

There’s already million reasons why the whole world should just stop smoking.  But yesterday I thought of one more.

In all the talk about how we are going to have 7 billion people on earth very soon, and we don’t know how to feed anybody, has anyone proposed we tear up all the tobacco plantations and use the land for food?

I did some quick math.  I found an article online from a farmer who practises small-scale sustainable farming.  He estimated he can feed 5 people per acre of land with his methods.

There are approximately 4.2 million hectares of land that are used for growing tobacco, worldwide.  That’s 10.08 million acres.   That’s theoretically 50 million people who could be fed off that land, if those farms were chopped up into small-scale local farms with sustainable farming methods.

I know the land would need some serious TLC,  since tobacco is a real nutrient leacher and is dependent on a great deal of fertiliser and pesticide use.  And I know that’s only a small fraction of 7 billion, and only a small fraction of the number of people living below the poverty line today … but still, 50 million people is a fair few.  Even half of that would be a fair few.  Even a tenth.

Of course it would never happen, because it would require action from governments, and governments belong to the tobacco and the fertiliser companies.  But a girl can dream, of a smoke-free world filled with locally produced food.

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