Beef-eating ‘must fall drastically’ as world population grows


People in rich nations will have to make big cuts to the amount of beef and lamb they eat if the world is to be able to feed 10 billion people, according to a new report. These cuts and a series of other measures are also needed to prevent catastrophic climate change, it says.

More than 50% more food will be needed by 2050, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI) report, but greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will have to fall by two-thirds at the same time. The extra food will have to be produced without creating new farmland, it says, otherwise the world’s remaining forests face destruction. Meat and dairy production use 83% of farmland and produce 60% of agriculture’s emissions. Increasing the amount of food produced per hectare was the most critical step, the experts said, followed by cutting meat-eating and putting a stop to the wasting of one-third of food produced. “We have to change how we produce and consume food, not just for environmental reasons, but because this is an existential issue for humans,” said Janet Ranganathan, vice-president for science and research at the WRI.(theguardian)…[+]