February 15, 2013

Feeding All While Avoiding a Collapse of Civilization: Science's Greatest Challenge

Today, at least two billion people are hungry or need better diets, and most analysts think doubling food production will be required to feed the human population adequately by 2050.  A recent excellent study outlined how a required doubling could be achieved, based on five essential steps: stop increasing land for agriculture (to preserve ecosystem services); raise yields where possible; increase efficiency in use of fertilizers, water, and energy; become more vegetarian; and reduce food wastage.  One could add: stop wrecking the oceans, enlarge investment in agricultural research, and move feeding everyone to the very top of the policy agenda.