A study conducted in the US recently concluded that switching to a purely plant-based diet could feed more than twice as many people as are currently living in the US. The agricultural sector and the intensive raising of livestock play a very important role in this.
The continued population growth predicted for the future is particularly significant, according to Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute. By the year 2050, it is estimated that the world’s population will be around 10 billion. Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture is extremely concerned about current food supplies; over the next year alone, more than 40 million US residents could be at risk of undersupply.
Use of resources
A big problem is that many animal products are lost in transit. About one third of the food produced by American farmers does not make it to the consumer; this is because it spoils and thus becomes unusable. The ineffective use of agricultural resources could also cause future food shortages. According to another study, we could produce significantly more food overall if we dispensed with the production of animal foods. On the amount of land needed to produce 4 grams of beef, we could instead grow 100 grams of crops with similar nutritional value; that is at least a 96% increase in the total amount of food produced! For other animal products, such as pork (90%), dairy products (75%), chicken (50%) and eggs (40%), the balance sheet also shows clear results.