Thanks to Sonny Fox for this article.
Sometime around 2050, there are going to be nine billion people roaming this planet—two billion more than there are today. It’s a safe bet that all those folks will want to eat. And that’s… an incredibly daunting prospect. Right now, an estimated one billion people go hungry each day. So add two billion more people, a limited supply of arable land, plus the fact that rising incomes will boost demand for meat and dairy products, plus the fact that many key natural resources (fisheries, say) are already being overexploited… and it’s hard to see the situation getting better. And that’s before we get into the fact that the planet’s heating up, which is expected to wreak havoc on agricultural yields.
Still, not everyone’s convinced that feeding nine billion people—and doing it in a sustainable fashion—is a totally impossible task. A new paper published this week in Science, written by Britain’s chief scientific adviser John Beddington along with nine other experts, outlines a way this could actually be done. The catch? Doing so would require “radical” changes to the current global food system. The paper’s a great synthesis of a wide range of different food issues, and I’ll just pull out the main ideas:
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