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Sustainability and food security

Global methods of food production are becoming increasingly energy intensive. According to the 2021 study, 66% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, land use and land use changes. Livestock is the largest user of land resources. Additionally the FAO* estimates that anywhere from 33 to 40 percent of arable land is being used to grow feed crops.

There are four aspects to sustainable food security-sufficient food production, access to and ability to purchase food, access to nutritious food and the stability of these conditions.

The FAO paints an unpleasant picture of the food insecurity and malnourishment that plagues the world. Nearly one in three people did not have access to adequate food in 2020. With more and more people moving to cities to make a living, these populations also depend on purchasing foods for survival . This leads to a rise in prices, particularly of staples which affect the lower income groups negatively.

A report called the Eat Lancet studied various diets from the angle of sustainability and found that shifting to a plant-heavy diet is most beneficial to ensure food security among other things. Another study published by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences found that all things considered, “consumption of resource-intensive food times instead of more efficient, equally nutritious alternatives contribute very heavily to food loss undermining food security and environmental sustainability.

Land that can otherwise be used to grow crops for an exploding population is being misutilised. More than half of the world’s habitable land is being used for agriculture of which the most is used to grow livestock for meat and dairy. There has been research to show that if hypothetically the world went plant-based, 75% of this land could be freed up. The same research pointed out that less than half of the cereals grown are actually consumed by humans. The rest is used to feed animals.


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