Feeding the World

Oct 2014
29,489
5,075
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#21
The issue is not how much food Americans are eating; the world produces far more than enough food to feed everyone.

The main issue is distribution and waste.
 
Apr 2015
13,151
2,238
Katmandu
#22
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.
Synthetic meat would be as bad for humanity as bread is today. Two hundred years ago bread was healthy and nutritious, that isn't the case today. All of the good stuff is totally processed out of the wheat so it lasts forever, you are left with a worthless powder that then has ground up rocks mixed with it so it is enriched with vitamins that can't be processed by humans.

Same story with synthetic meat, instead of microbes in the soil producing essential nutrients in a natural form that can be consumed by plants and converted into a form that can be utilized by animals and ultimately by human omnivores, we will end up with a product that may look and taste good, but is nutritionally malignant.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
73,156
41,367
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#23
Two hundred years ago bread was healthy and nutritious, that isn't the case today.
If you are talking about stuff like Wonder "bread," that is certainly true. I often get people's freshly-made bread, though, which is far better.
 
Apr 2015
13,151
2,238
Katmandu
#24
If you are talking about stuff like Wonder "bread," that is certainly true. I often get people's freshly-made bread, though, which is far better.
Do they buy wheat and grind their own flour?

That is the issue, all the good stuff is processed out of the flour.

Whole, freshly ground flour will only last a week or two in kept in the fridge.
 
Apr 2015
13,151
2,238
Katmandu
#25
Do they buy wheat and grind their own flour?

That is the issue, all the good stuff is processed out of the flour.

Whole, freshly ground flour will only last a week or two in kept in the fridge.
And bread made with whole, unprocessed ingredients only a few days.
 
Apr 2012
10,688
4,390
East coast USA
#26
I keep saying( twice now, anyway ) that we will have and need a huge die off.
If it makes one feel better, pretend it's only other country's that will suffer.
 
Feb 2011
15,880
10,292
The formerly great golden state
#27
3D printing of food at the molecular level has to be the next paradigm shift. Starting some 10 thousand or so years ago, we went from hunter/gatherer to agriculture and animal husbandry, thus vastly increasing the carrying capacity of Planet Earth. The next paradigm shift will have to come pretty soon, or a significant portion of mankind will starve.

Of course, famine, like the other three horsemen of the Apocalypse, will bring the population down to manageable levels.

It all depends on the race between population growth and technology.
 
Feb 2011
15,880
10,292
The formerly great golden state
#28
3D printing of food at the molecular level has to be the next paradigm shift. Starting some 10 thousand or so years ago, we went from hunter/gatherer to agriculture and animal husbandry, thus vastly increasing the carrying capacity of Planet Earth. The next paradigm shift will have to come pretty soon, or a significant portion of mankind will starve.

Of course, famine, like the other three horsemen of the Apocalypse, will bring the population down to manageable levels.

It all depends on the race between population growth and technology.
 
Likes: bmanmcfly
Jul 2013
37,745
23,965
On a happy trail
#29
The majority of the US corn crop goes to make ethanol today. If the silly blending requirements were eliminated we would have millions more acres of fertile land to grow food on.
But not all of any corn kernel is consumed in the making of ethanol, the residues and solids go into lots of other stuff including cow and human food.