Good News (No, Really): We May Only Need to Increase Food Production 70% by 2050


photo: Bart Heird via flickr.

What's the good news in that headline? According to the UK's Soil Association, estimates by the UN that to feed our ever-increasing population we will have to double food production by 2050 are too high and based on flawed data. Instead, an increase of about 70% is more accurate. Still a daunting task, but one decidedly easier considering that the difference between the two figures is more than the entire food production of the American continent. WATCH VIDEO - Focus Earth: The Food Industry

Part of the problem is that policymakers have been relying on the higher figure and pushing industrial farming methods that are less-than sustainable. Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett, quoted in The Guardian:

In abusing the figures government ministers and others are trying to exclude the possibility of us producing food in a way that would be good for the planet and good for our health. Instead of assuming a ghastly starvation and obesity vision of the future, what we need is food systems which feed everyone a healthy and decent diet.

How are the figures 'abused'? The Soil Association says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has used calculations for increased food production that are now a decade out of date, rounded up. Additionally, the FAO assumes that billions more people will continue to trend towards diets high in meat and dairy products, and that high levels of food waste will continue to be the norm.

Read the whole Soil Association report: Telling porkies: The big fat lie about doubling food production
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More on the Sustainable Agriculture:
The World Needs a Farming Revolution! Declares UN Report
Stopping Deforestation, Greening Agriculture Better Than Carbon Capture and Storage
Organic Farming Could Stop Climate Change

Tags: Agriculture | Farming | Global Climate Change | Population Growth | United Nations