What’s the Latest Development?
With the current numbers of 900 million people going hungry and 2 billion malnourished, the future for worldwide food production looks bleak. By 2050, leading water scientists predict that there will not be enough water to irrigate croplands for a projected 9 billion people. In order to combat food shortage and world hunger in the future, these scientists are looking at implementing a range of strategies from smaller-scale, localized irrigation networks to moving towards a largely vegetarian society. “Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050.”
What’s the Big Idea?
A move towards vegetarian diets could help free up large portions of arable land to human food production. A third of current farmland is used to grow crops that feed animals. Additionally “animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet.” Therefore, by moving away from current animal eating practices, less water could be used to feed more people. While vegetarianism is no catchall answer to water and food scarcity, it can be one part of the solution to the world’s increasing hunger problems.
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