Today’s Solutions: November 28, 2021

With recent research revealing a steep decline in global insect populations, the need to phase bug-killing pesticides out of agriculture is at an all-time high. The common belief in the world of farming, however, is that we need pesticides if we want to grow enough food to feed a growing population. A new scientific paper from the European thinktank IDDRI begs the differ. According to the new paper, Europe should still be able to feed its growing population even if it switched entirely to environmentally friendly approaches such as organic farming. Although organic farming would initially produce less food than conventional farming, the authors argue that the reductions could be mitigated towards eliminating food-feed completion—reorienting diets towards plant-based proteins and pasture-fed livestock, and away from grain-fed white meat, which makes sense considering half of Europe’s cereals and oilseed crops are fed to animals. By lessening meat consumption, more farms can orient themselves towards crops that humans will eventually eat rather than animals.

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