Feeding the World

RNG

Moderator
Jan 2015
13,501
9,315
Left coast
#1
A story on the CBC site grabbed my attention and brought to the fore how many people are on the earth and the further potential erosion of quality of life.

If the world ate the USDA-recommended diet, there wouldn't be enough land to grow it

If everyone in the world followed the USDA-recommended diet, there wouldn't be enough agricultural land to grow all the food, a new study has found.

The researchers from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, both in Ontario, said an additional gigahectare of fertile land — roughly the size of Canada — would be required to feed everyone, highlighting the fact that dietary guidelines should be based on more than just nutrition.

The study, funded by a Canadian government grant through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, sought to address the issue of sustainability in the global diet.

The researchers drew from current yield data (production, imports and exports by nation) for various crops from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to estimate the amount of land required to grow what the USDA considers a healthy diet low in calories and saturated fats.
A hectare is the metric unit of measure for larger areas. 1 hectare = 100m x 100m ~= 2.5 acres.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/usda-guidelines-diet-agricultural-land-use-study-1.4781291
 
Likes: 1 person
Jul 2014
33,840
8,751
midwest
#3
With or without GMO's?

The world may not have a choice in the future.

GMO's may be the only choice.

As well as fish farming in ocean pens, and other ideas that some are opposed to.

Kelp and/or seaweed may also be a bigger part of our diet, too.
 
Jul 2013
51,088
54,224
Nashville, TN
#4
The earth can support 40 billion if they genetically alter us to all be dwarves and move us all underground and devote all the surface to farming. Of course it would be a strict vegetarian diet with the only meat being rats and such that could be caught in the underground habitats and warrens of the new homo inferiors.
 
Likes: 1 person

RNG

Moderator
Jan 2015
13,501
9,315
Left coast
#5
The earth can support 40 billion if they genetically alter us to all be dwarves and move us all underground and devote all the surface to farming. Of course it would be a strict vegetarian diet with the only meat being rats and such that could be caught in the underground habitats and warrens of the new homo inferiors.
A few years ago I did quite a study on what the experts think is the maximum population the earth could support. Of course the numbers vary greatly depending on the lifestyle one assumes people would have (put up with?). One of the things that would greatly increase the earth's capacity to feed people would be to not raise meat for consumption at all. That is the most inefficient in terms of calories per acre as well as being most water intensive.

But damn I love my steaks.

I keep reading about lab generated meats and many reports say they taste great, but how far from being in the stores that technology is, I don't know.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jul 2013
51,088
54,224
Nashville, TN
#6
To maintain that 40 billion we would need to shorten lifespans and reduce fertility. Is this all sounding good yet?
 
Jul 2013
51,088
54,224
Nashville, TN
#7
Of course this is based on not destroying our ecosphere rendering our climate and surface untenable for agriculture, which is not looking too good right now. Unfortunately my vision of the future is rather dystopian.
 

RNG

Moderator
Jan 2015
13,501
9,315
Left coast
#8
Of course this is based on not destroying our ecosphere rendering our climate and surface untenable for agriculture, which is not looking too good right now. Unfortunately my vision of the future is rather dystopian.
That is the thing. All kinds of studies are saying that if warming keeps increasing, food production will be badly hurt.

(I say "if" in order to stave off the avalanche of denier blat.)
 
Likes: 2 people
Jan 2016
46,356
42,289
Colorado
#9
The earth can support 40 billion if they genetically alter us to all be dwarves and move us all underground and devote all the surface to farming. Of course it would be a strict vegetarian diet with the only meat being rats and such that could be caught in the underground habitats and warrens of the new homo inferiors.
Morlocks! You're saying we should all become Morlocks!!
 
Jan 2016
46,356
42,289
Colorado
#10
A few years ago I did quite a study on what the experts think is the maximum population the earth could support. Of course the numbers vary greatly depending on the lifestyle one assumes people would have (put up with?). One of the things that would greatly increase the earth's capacity to feed people would be to not raise meat for consumption at all. That is the most inefficient in terms of calories per acre as well as being most water intensive.

But damn I love my steaks.

I keep reading about lab generated meats and many reports say they taste great, but how far from being in the stores that technology is, I don't know.
Expected to hit the grocery stores in the 2021-2022 time range. Been meaning to submit a top post on this, maybe I'll get around to it this weekend. There is a HUGE battle brewing over how to label this synthetic meat. If ranchers had their way, it would be labeled Franken-meat, hah. The manufacturers would like to call it 'clean meat'.