FOOD – FEEDING MANY

FEEDING MANY

Herein lies the problem:

Nearly a quarter of all planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions come from food production and croplands.

And, the world population is expected to approach 10 billion people by 2050. With this projected increase in population and shifts to higher-meat diets (apparently global meat and diary consumption is set to increase by nearly 70%, agriculture alone could account for the majority of the emissions budget for limiting global warming below 2°C (3.6°F). This level of agricultural emissions would render the goal of keeping warming below 1.5°C (2.7°F) impossible

And, it is not easy to solve:

Farmers can’t plant much more land, because almost every accessible acre of arable soil is already in use. Nor can the use of fertilizer be increased; it is already being overused everywhere except some parts of Africa, and the runoff is polluting rivers, lakes, and oceans. Irrigation, too, cannot be greatly expanded—most land that can be irrigated already is

In so far as beef currently requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more GHG emissions per gram of edible protein than common plant proteins, such as beans, perhaps we need to shift our crops for livestock feed to plant proteins

And, surely we need to shift the way we raise cattle to become a part of regenerative farming so that they become a part of the solution rather than the problem. 

Cutting waste even by modest amounts would also feed millions in so far as between one-third and a half of the viable crops and food produced from them around the world are wasted, in the developing world usually because of a lack of infrastructure such as refrigerated transport, and in the developed world because of wasteful habits. 

Charles Mann, in a piece he wrote in The Atlantic in 2018, tackled this seemingly insurmountable problem dividing the world into those who would say, “cut back” from those who would say “innovate.” 

What is food insecurity?

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Food security and nutrition around the world in 2020

10/06/20
Five years into the 2030 Agenda, it is time to assess progress and to question whether continuing efforts implemented thus far will allow countries to reach SDG 2 targets.

Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System

06/12/20
Climate change is likely to diminish continued progress on global food security through production disruptions that lead to local availability limitations and price increases, interrupted transport conduits, and diminished food safety, among other causes.

Friends of the Earth

11/15/19
Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize…

Feeding Ourselves Thirsty

11/15/19
"Tracking Food Company Progress Toward a Water-Smart Future"

MORE NEWS

Asia’s food crisis: a $800 billion investment needed in next 10 years

By Stella Soon  Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images   11/27/19  
Asia is "unable to feed itself" — and needs to invest another $800 billion in the next 10 years to produce more food and meet the region's needs, according to a report...

Feeding the Billions: A New Frontier for Sustainable Eating

Reported by Al Jazeera  Photo: Screengrab/Al Jazeera   06/11/19  
Zero waste restaurant and jellyfish dinners: Alternative food solutions could help alleviate an impending food crisis.

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By Mitchell Davis  Photo: James Beard Foundation   02/26/19  
Food system thought leaders meet to talk hunger, health, and the future

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By Fred Pearce  Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/CIFOR   12/03/18  
What is the best way to save nature – to cordon off areas for parks and open space or to integrate conservation measures on working lands?

Katharine Wilkinson: How empowering women and girls can help stop global warming

By Katharine Wilkinson   11/01/18  
If we really want to address climate change, we need to make gender equity a reality, says writer and environmentalist Katharine Wilkinson.

How Can We Avoid A Food Crisis That’s Less Than A Decade Away

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By Health Care Without Harm   04/22/16  
In committing to food procurement that is protective of the climate, food leaders are safeguarding a healthier future for everyone.
CNN

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious, climate report says

By Jen Christensen  Photo: Bill Weir/CNN   08/09/19  
Food will become scarcer, grocery prices will spike and crops will lose their nutritional value due to the climate crisis, according to a major report on land use from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on…

Changing climate imperils global food and water supplies, new U.N. study finds

By Brady Dennis  Photo: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock   08/08/19  
[A] sprawling report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) examines how land use around the world contributes to the warming of Earth’s atmosphere.
BBC

A bit of meat, a lot of veg – the flexitarian diet to feed 10bn

By James Gallagher  Photo: Getty   01/17/19  
A diet has been developed that promises to save lives, feed 10 billion people and all without causing catastrophic damage to the planet.

Dan Barber: ’20 years from now you’ll be eating fast food crickets’

By Emma Brockes  Photo: Ali Smith/The Guardian   11/09/18  
In the latest from our series on biodiversity, the Blue Hill chef says we’ve got sustainable agriculture wrong. It’s not a question of sacrifice, but deliciousness
NPR

5 Major Crops In The Crosshairs Of Climate Change

By Dan Charles  Photo: Heather Kim/NPR   10/25/18  
Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

Death by fertilizer

By Nathanael Johnson  Photo: Nathanael Johnson   10/02/18  
Nitrogen fertilizer is a disaster. Abandoning it would be a bigger disaster. Now a dozen billionaires are funding an alternative.
EAT

Waste Not Want Not: Adressing Inequities of the Global Food System | Dr. Fanzo | EAT Forum18

By Jessica Fanzo  Photo: Getty   06/11/18  
Dr. Jessica Fanzo Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics, John Hopkins University

Feeding the world: Can we preserve forests, go organic and eat meat?

By Roz Pidcock  Photo: Rainforest Action Network   04/19/16  
It is possible to produce enough food to feed a growing population without another tree being felled, according to new research. But there’s a catch.