The key bases of our agricultural systems—the world’s land, water, and climate—ensure that farmers can feed the world. But these resources are being depleted, even as global demand for agricultural products is expected to mushroom in the coming decades. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that demand will be 60 percent higher in 2050 than in the three-year average for 2005–07. If nothing is done, this growth could overwhelm our food systems.
To save our global food system, it’s time to focus on conservation and efficiency. Here are five big ideas for doing this:
- Combating food waste.
- Reducing meat and biofuel production.
- Increasing water productivity.
- Conserving agricultural land.
- Infusing ethics into food trade.
Food trade will become an indispensable nutritional lifeline,” writes contributing author Gary Gardner in State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability. “As such, food trade cannot be treated as just another exchange of goods, and food cannot be treated as just another commodity.” Instead, protecting access to food as a human right will ensure that food cannot be withheld for political reasons. Already, 28 countries have explicitly listed a right to food in their national constitutions since the FAO advanced this concept in 2004.
Read more from Gaelle Gourmelon, Marketing and Communications Director of the Worldwatch Institute, originally published in the October issue on the Worldwatch Institute blog: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/5-big-ideas-to-save-our-global-food-system/