creating a sustainable food future
New research from World Resources Institute finds the average American could cut their diet-related environmental impacts nearly in half just by eating less meat and dairy. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future presents solutions to the challenge of feeding a growing population by reducing animal protein consumption, especially beef, and helping shift billions of people to more sustainable diets.
Overconsumption of protein occurs in all of the world’s regions, and it is rising in developing and emerging economies. In 2009, the average person in more than 90 percent of the world’s countries and territories consumed more protein than estimated requirements.
Like overconsumption of calories, overconsumption of protein widens the food gap. Furthermore, animal-based foods are typically more resource-intensive and environmentally impactful to produce than plant-based foods.
This analysis shows how, among high-consuming populations, the three diet shifts could significantly reduce per person agricultural land use and greenhouse gas emissions.
To help shift people’s diets, we propose a new framework based on proven private sector marketing tactics: the Shift Wheel.
New WRI research shows that diets high in meat and dairy strain land and water resources and fuel climate change. Paper author Richard Waite explains how he cut his diet's environmental footprint in half, even without going vegetarian or vegan.
30 CEOs, government ministers, global institution executives, and civil society leaders will increase political and social momentum to achieve Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Installment 10 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future proposes a definition for lands with low environmental opportunity cost. From there, it offers recommendations for how new cropland expansion can be directed toward these low opportunity cost lands.
New WRI research finds that in order to help secure a sustainable food future, cropland expansion should be limited to lands with "low environmental opportunity costs."
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the country’s first-ever goal for reducing food waste.
Biofuels and bioenergy take up finite land resources at the cost of food production and carbon storage and doesn’t guarantee carbon emissions cuts.
What is the role of bioenergy in a sustainable food future? The answer must recognize the intense global competition for land, and that any dedicated use of land for bioenergy inherently comes at the cost of not using that land for food, feed, or sustained carbon storage.
A new WRI paper finds bioenergy can play a modest role using wastes and other niche fuelstocks, but recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy.
The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity.
A new WRI working paper finds that reducing flooding in rice paddies can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and can also help conserve water and boost yields.
A sustainable food future will require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture even as the world produces substantially more food. The production of rice, the staple crop for the majority of the world’s population, emits large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The world is on a path to need almost 70 percent more crops in 2050 than those it produced in 2006. To close that crop gap without large price increases or clearing more valuable forests and savannas, yields are going to have to grow 33 percent more in the next 44 years than they did in the last 44.
Using advances in molecular biology to breed better crops can sustainably secure more of the global food supply.
The world needs to close a 69 percent gap between the crops produced in 2006 and the crops the world is on a course to need by 2050.
Quantifiable indicators of the environmental sustainability of agriculture—by which we mean minimizing the environmental impacts of agriculture—are an important tool for helping move the world toward a sustainable food future.