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Issue 22
, 2010
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How to Feed the Billions

Source: ENN, Date: , 2010

A Malthusian catastrophe was originally foreseen to be a forced return to subsistence level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production. The catastrophe is that in doing so many people will starve.

Sometime around 2050, there are going to be nine billion people roaming this planet two billion more than there are today. It's a safe bet that all those folks will want to eat. Still, not everyone's convinced that feeding nine billion people is a totally impossible task. A Malthusian catastrophe has been predicted before to happen and has not yet done so, A new paper published this week in Science written by Britain's chief scientific adviser John Beddington along with others, outlines a way this could actually be done.

The British Science study suggests several changes in how people eat as well as produce new food to help adjust to the new population levels. Some of the discussed items include:

Boosting crop yields

Stop wasting food

Less meat

There are also other competing demands for the raw organics that eventually go into the food supply. These are bio fuels for example. The more biofuel that is used instead of a petroleum based fuel means there is potentially that much less available for food supplies. Again this is related to lifestyle choices such as driving a car instead of mass transportation where it is available.