A conservationist held up an apple. “Consider that this apple represents our earth.” With a knife, she sliced it into quarters. She set aside three pieces, saying, “Three quarters of it represent the oceans.”  Holding up one quarter, she said, “This represents our land area.” She sliced that in half and discarding one piece, said, “That portion represents the land area that is inhospitable to people: polar areas, deserts, swamps, high or rocky mountains. The piece that’s left, which is 1/8 our original apple, is for the land areas where people live.”

She sliced that piece into four sections.  Setting three of those aside, she said “These pieces represent the areas too rocky, wet, cold, steep, or soil-poor to produce food. They also include the cities, suburbs, highways, shopping centers, schools, parks, factories, parking lots, and other places where people live but where they can’t grow food.”

The remaining piece was 1/32 of the apple. She peeled the skin off that tiny slice. “This tiny bit of peel represents the very thin surface of the earth’s crust, less than five feet deep, which is all we have to grow the food to feed the world.”

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