How Will We Feed 9 Billion People |

How Will We Feed 9 Billion People

The world’s population is predicted to reach nine billion by 2050. That leaves us with the question of how we are going to feed people with this huge number. If we are to carry on using the traditional food production methods that are being used currently, the destruction to our planet is going to be immense. However, there are other alternatives that are coming on the market and are being researched as solutions for feeding our ever-growing population.

The population will increase rapidly | Stop increasing agriculture’s footprint | Make the most of the farmland we have

Efficient use of resources | Changing human diets | Reducing waste

feed people

The population will increase rapidly

When it comes to thinking about threats to our planet for the future, we often think about industries such as the automobile industry and manufacturing plants. However, our food production needs and how to feed people are one of the biggest concerns for our planet in the upcoming years. Agriculture plays a huge part in the world’s global warming issue. It creates a higher amount of greenhouse gases than most of our modes of transport combined. Cattle and rice farms release methane. Also carbon dioxide is released when rainforests are cut down to create more land for food production. On top of that, farming uses a huge amount of the world’s water supply. And agriculture increases the loss of biodiversity.

Need for environmentally-friendly solutions

As we work to feed our expanding population, the need for more environmentally-friendly solutions is only going to increase. It’s believed that by 2050, our population will have grown to nine billion people. Which is two billion more than the current world population. Especially in countries such as India and China, this is increasing the demand for meat, dairy, and eggs. With more food also required to feed these animals. While the population may grow by two billion, the food requirements will double the number of crops grown.

There’s much debate surrounding the best solutions for food production. With arguments about whether conventional agricultural methods or organic and local farms are the best solution. However, the best option appears to be a combination of the two, and there are various steps we could take as a society to decrease the issues food production may cause to the environment in the future.

Stop Increasing Agriculture’s Footprint

One of the first steps to resolving this issue is to stop the footprint from agricultural activities growing any further. The industry has already cleared an area worldwide equivalent to the size of South America for arable farming alone and an area the size of Africa for livestock farming. To stop any more ecosystems from being lost to farming, it’s time to put an end to this destruction. Moving forward, this should be the number one priority .Especially when considering minimizing the damage that’s bound to occur as a result of our growing population.

Make the Most of the Farmland We Have

With so much land being created already for farming, it’s time to improve the yield gaps in areas where the farming industry is not so productive. Regions that have the space to increase production include Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. By introducing more high-tech farming systems, we can make the most of the land that has already been created for the industry and increase the yield from that land over the years.

Efficient Use of Resources

Many of the activities that were undertaken as part of the green revolution used unsustainable methods of farming. With high quantities of water and chemicals required. Commercial farming has already started to improve its efficiency, using computerized tractors to apply pesticides and fertilizers. Growers are now creating customized fertilizer blends for their soil. Which reduces the number of chemicals that end up in nearby water. Organic farming is a solution that can be used to reduce water and chemical usage. So many farmers are more aware of their impact on the environment and water usage today.

feed people

Changing Human Diets

One of the biggest concerns about feeding a population of nine billion is the type of diet these individuals will follow. With so many of us consuming meat, eggs, and dairy still, the demands on our planet are huge. Shifting our diets to incorporate less meat and finding more efficient ways to raise animals is one solution that needs to be considered. Even using less grain-fed beef could be a good start. By focusing on countries that consume a massive amount of meat first, we can work to reduce the crops used for food sources.

Reducing Waste

Finally, the last step that could help us to feed people is to reduce our waste as a global population. In fact, that 50% of the total food weight in the world is believed to be wasted. Of course, richer countries are the biggest culprits of this, with endless waste in their supermarkets, restaurants, and homes. Poorer countries often lose food between the farms and the markets due to issues with transportation and storage. We can increase the availability of food for the global population. By serving smaller portions, using up our leftovers, and coming up with innovative measures to reduce waste,.

Recycling is important

Recycling is something that a lot of countries and homes are still not doing properly. And the packaging from food is a huge issue around the world. Looking for more eco-friendly ways to package and sell food products is also another important consideration. Companies and stores are starting to come up with some great initiatives when it comes to packaging. Hopefully, these will only continue to expand in upcoming years.[SG2] 

If the world started taking big steps in all of these areas listed above, we would begin to see considerable changes to the environment and the impact which food production has on our planet. With our population continuing to grow year after year, it’s time to put a stop to the wastage and damaging production methods that are being used today to create our food supplies. While we know how to make these changes, it’s all about working together to develop new and innovative food sources and ways of growing food to feed people. This will be the way we can save our planet, and by making good choices each day, we can all play our part in feeding the growing population.

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