The world could have as many as 10bn mouths to feed by 2050. That’s 3bn more than a decade ago – and the growing demand poses a major environmental question.
How do we produce enough calories to meet this need without expanding agriculture in ways that degrade the natural habitat and worsen the climate crisis ? One thing is clear: the way we grow and produce food will have to change.
Agriculture drives 80 per cent of global land-use change, which in turn threatens biodiversity. This pressure generates a vicious circle because it undermines the resilience of the global systems that agriculture depends on.
Change needs to happen. We need to:
- Shift diets away from resource-intensive meat and towards more sustainable, mainly plant-based foods
- Reduce the growth in demand for food by minimising waste.
- Increase the productivity of farming methods.
- Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture.
- We need to eat “fewer but better” calories.
The most effective way to do this is to scale up the consumption of plant-based proteins, and decrease the consumption of animal-based proteins.
Source: Financial Times