The world’s total population is now approaching 8 billion. How to feed a growing population without disrupting the Earth’s environmental system? The planet could provide 10 billion people with an adequate, healthy diet by changing agricultural production, reducing food waste and adjusting diets, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and other institutions in Germany, in a paper published in the British journal Nature Sustainable Development on the 20th, to explore how many people the Earth can feed while ensuring environmental sustainability, they chose the integrity of the biosphere, changes in the land system, Four environmental indicators of freshwater use and nitrogen flow are closely related to agricultural production and analyzed with the help of complex models.
In theory, it turns out that the planet could feed 10 billion people without the destruction of the environmental system, but this would require a technological and socio-cultural transformation. In some areas, for example, increased effective management of water, land and fertilizers can increase food production, and this sustainable agriculture can help address climate change.
Dieter Gerten, who led the study, said: “Nearly half of the world’s food production now exceeds the environmental burden. Agriculture and animal husbandry occupy too much land, over-fertilization, extensive irrigation mode … We need to rethink how to produce food. “
The researchers also suggest that changing eating habits to promote sustainable planet seating, such as replacing meat with more legumes and other vegetables, can help not only protect the environment, but also help health. In addition, it is important to reduce food waste.