Happy #EarthDay 2018 .
🔒 Food Security Matters.
'Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life' (FAO).
By 2050, we need to provide enough food to feed around 9 billion people, meaning the demand for food will be ~60% greater than it is today. Many of the world's leading science experts are pulling together to meet the rising challenge of securing and sustaining agriculture and food production 🚜🌾
To achieve the goal, we must address a host of problems...
• Populations are both growing 👨👩👧👦 and ageing 👵🏼👴🏻 in developing countries. 📈
• Developing nations are becoming more affluent. 💰
• With increasing affluence comes increased demand for animal produce, e.g. meat 🍗, eggs 🍳 and milk. 🥛
• To produce more animals, we need to produce more grain. 🌾
• But, land resources for growing crops is limited... Some of our land cannot be cultivated; around 40% of arable land is arid and with climate change will turn into desert.🌵
• 28% of agriculture lies in water-stressed regions. As 1 kg of wheat requires 1,500 L of water💧and 1 kg of beef requires 16,000 L 💦 water is in high demand.
• Soils are being degraded by over-farming. 📉
• The modern-day consumer demands more choice meaning exotic foods are delivered fresh to our supermarket shelves daily. 🛒🍍🥝🥑
• This means more "Food miles" 🚚 which contributes to CO2 production and increases our carbon footprint 👣, contributing to global warming.
• In under-developed counties, where much of the exotic produce is grown and exported, food supply is low leading to malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency, or "hidden hunger", amongst the population.
So what are the solutions to these problems?💡
• Increase yield per unit of land ⬆️ which means to fertilise and irrigate land more efficiently 🌿
• Use drought-resistant or more tolerant crops 🌱
• Find ways of using under-utilised crops/fruits 🍈 • Develop alternative feedstocks for animals 🐜
• Consume less meat 🍖 (especially in countries where over-consumption is common)
• Eat locally to reduce food miles 🍽