With the world population increasing by the second, the minds of the scientific, environmentalist, agricultural, government and other communities have been taken over with one question: "How to feed the growing population?". The United Nations may have found the answer.
According to their trade and environment review 2013 "Wake up before it's too late" that featured the collaborative work of over 60 experts in the field, the answer doesn't lie in increasing the productivity of industrial farming (aka. using more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods US is pushing), nor in tweaking the current agricultural system here and there.
The future of food is in complete transformation and paradigm shift in agricultural development.
“This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,” UN's report concluded.
To put it simply, the only way to feed the world is essentially organic and small-scale farming.
On the world scale, that means increasing soil carbon content, reduction of greenhouse and GHG emissions, optimised fertiliser use, reduction of waste throughout the food chain and reforming the international trade regime for food and agricultural products, as well as changing our dietary patterns towards climate-friendly food consumption.
The report might be from 2013, but the situation hasn't changed much - the population is still growing rapidly, and we're still struggling to figure out how to feed everyone now and in the future.
Luckily, there are things you can do today to change the story.
Eat mindfully. Buy just as much as you can eat and repurpose the leftovers. Carefully choose where you get your produce from. Or even better yet - start growing food yourself; we've found a way how to do it with zero effort and no mess.
Questions or thoughts? Share them in the comments below!
Access the UN's 2013 trade and environment review here.