The World Future Council’s Bread Tank Project

The World Future Council has created a provocative visual representation of the cost, in food, of military expenditures, with something they call the Bread Tank Project. The following information comes directly from the World Future Council’s website and facebook page The project is on display at Rio+20 until tomorrow.  

Disarmament for Sustainable Development

At Rio+20 we present a bread tank with a garden inside to underline the realistic possibility of eradicating hunger and extreme poverty by redirecting military spending.

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The Appeal

In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1.74 trillion – despite the fact that 1 billion people suffer from hunger, still more have no access to safe water or adequate health care and education, and even in the industrialised world millions are without work. Disarmament is a necessary condition for sustainable development. We therefore demand that the governments of the world seriously address this neglected issue of peace and disarmament and agree on a global plan for disarmament at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. Starting in 2013, military spending should be cut back substantially – a minimum of 10 % per annum. The freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programmes in all countries.

Join hundreds of other signatories, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, distinguished scientists and international organisations in signing our appeal.

The Bread Tank

At Rio+20 we present an edible, life-sized tank made of bread. This unique mobile sculpture, measuring 8m x 4m x 3m, is a symbol of how the world’s military budget should really be used – to fund sustainable development, fight hunger and extreme poverty, improve food and water security, and provide education and healthcare. Inside the bread tank is a vegetable garden that becomes visible as the tank is consumed. No bread is wasted: Remaining food is donated to a charitable food bank. The Bread Tank is accompanied by an exhibition that juxtaposes current military spending with money required to finance exemplary social and ecological measures.

A life-sized Tank made of Bread was placed inside the Morro Santa Marta, the first pacified favela in the city of Rio. The Tank has the dimensions of a real war tank and is covered with bread as a symbol of using military expenses to fund social needs. The initiative is part of the Disarmament for Sustainable Development Appeal, promoted by the World Future Council, Viva Rio, Mayors for Peace and partner organizations. They call for governments at Rio+20 to redirect 10% of annual military expenditures to fund social and environmental programs. June 19, Rio de Janeiro, BRA – Photo: Lunae Parracho


The following article was originally published by “Many to Many,” a quarterly publication issued by Operation Peace Through Unity, an NGO associated with the UN Department of Public Information.

A full-scale tank, its sidewalls, wheels, chains and five meter long canon made of bread, and with a garden plus an olive tree inside, will be displayed at the Rio+20 Summit between 20-22 June. People will be invited to have a piece of the bread and as the shape of the tank slowly disappears the garden will come into view.

This creation came into being in partnership with the International Peace Bureau, the
International Networks of Engineers and the Scientists for Global Responsibility, with the aim of demonstrating the need for us all to reconsider our priorities.

The primary aim of this unique sculpture is to highlight the need to redirect some of the
seemingly unlimited financial resources available for military developments toward eradicating hunger and extreme poverty.

The Appeal calls for the reduction of military spending (US$1.7 trillion p.a.) by an annual 10
per cent towards the funding of sustainable development initiatives to fight hunger and extreme poverty, improve food and water security, and to provide good education, healthcare and ecological conditions.

The World Future Council is a registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.
The Council is committed to bring ‘the interests of future generations to the centre of
policy making’. It addresses ‘challenges to our common future and provides decision-
makers with effective policy solutions. ; e-mail:

“For the sake of our planet, a conversation that needs to be heard is the one between generations, between elders and young people around the world – and those who are in between.” – Desmond Tutu

Could there be any more direct connection between food and peace?  It reminds me of the bumper stickers that used to float around about changing priorities from military spending to education:

What do you think? How important is it to redirect money from the armed forces toward sustainable development, including but not limited to healthcare, education, food and water security?

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