New Study Says Eat Less Meat to Increase World's Food Supply

starvingchildren.jpgAccording to recent media reports, an international team of researchers will release a study in the journal Nature this week, urging people to eat less meat in order to increase the global food supply.

Navin Ramankutty, a professor at McGill University and a lead researcher on the report, said that a reduction in meat consumption would have a "huge impact" and could increase the global food supply by nearly 50 percent. According to the study, three quarters of the world's agricultural land is devoted to raising livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed crops. Growing crops for direct human consumption would increase the number of calories produced by agriculture per person by nearly 50 percent.

Although similar studies have been conducted in the past, Ramankutty said that scientists have been quiet on this issue. But that is starting to change. In January, a Foresight Report featuring contributions from 400 researchers around the world called for a drastic reduction in global meat consumption to help meet the food demands of the growing human population. And in June, the United Nations called for a global shift toward a vegan diet in order to save the world population from hunger, fuel shortages and the worst impacts of climate change.

Cutting back or eliminating consumption of animal products will not only better feed the growing human population, it can also help lower the risk of serious health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers, not to mention put an end to the unnecessary suffering of farmed animals. While reducing meat consumption is good, eliminating it altogether is even better.

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