Feeding a growing world population does not require deforestation

We cannot escape deforestation in developing countries because we need more farm land to feed growing populations. That is the implicit assumption in most future scenarios. However, as a major Austrian study shows, people don’t have to go hungry to conserve the planet’s forests. By 2050, the UN estimates, there will be 9.7 billion mouths to feed. Right now there are 7.1 billion citizens of Earth, and these already exploit about three-quarters of the land area not under ice. The researches considered 500 scenarios, involving demand, supply, trade patterns, new advances in efficiency or approach and so on, for food production and consumption. They found that more than half of these—289 in total—could feasibly meet the dual goal of conserving the existing forests and at the same time feeding the burgeoning population. Eating less meat, turned out to be very helpful to support food security.

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Feeding a growing world population does not require deforestation

We cannot escape deforestation in developing countries because we need more farm land to feed growing populations. That is the implicit assumption in most future scenarios. However, as a major Austrian study shows, people don’t have to go hungry to conserve the planet’s forests. By 2050, the UN estimates, there will be 9.7 billion mouths to feed. Right now there are 7.1 billion citizens of Earth, and these already exploit about three-quarters of the land area not under ice. The researches considered 500 scenarios, involving demand, supply, trade patterns, new advances in efficiency or approach and so on, for food production and consumption. They found that more than half of these—289 in total—could feasibly meet the dual goal of conserving the existing forests and at the same time feeding the burgeoning population. Eating less meat, turned out to be very helpful to support food security.

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