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Sustainable and healthy food to feed the world in 2050: Nature study

10/10/2018 - “Feeding a world population of 10 billion people is possible - yet only if we change the way we eat, and the way we produce food, our research shows. Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today,” says Johan Rockström, Director Designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He’s one of the authors of a new study now published by an international team of scientists in the journal Nature.
Sustainable and healthy food to feed the world in 2050: Nature study

Healthier and more plantbased diets could reduce emissions from agricultural production. Photo: Thinkstock

“Already today, the food system is a major driver of climate change, water resource overuse, and of pollution. Without dedicated measures these impacts could increase by 60 to 90 percent by 2050, our calculations show for the first time. To keep food production within planetary boundaries, a safe operating space for humanity, we can do three things: eat healthier more plantbased diets, systematically reduce food loss and waste, and improve agricultural technologies like for instance tillage or fertilizer recycling. Interestingly, just switching to more plant-based ‘flexitarian’ diets can halve greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production. All measures combined can result in keeping healthy both planet and people," Rockström explains.

Lead author of the paper is Marco Springmann from the University of Oxford. The study is part of the work of the EAT-Lancet Commission for Food, Planet and Health of which Johan Rockström is a co-chair. EAT is a non-profit science-based platform for food system transformation founded by the Stordalen Foundation, the Stockholm Resilience Centre that until recently had been headed by Rockström and is now lead by Line Gordon who is also an author on the study, and the Wellcome Trust. Lancet is the leading journal for medical sciences.


Article: Marco Springmann, Michael Clark, Daniel Mason-D'Croz, Keith Wiebe, Benjamin L. Bodirsky, Luis Lassaletta, Wim de Vries, Sonja J. Vermeulen, Mario Herrero, Kimberly M. Carlson, Malin Jonell, Max Troell, Fabrice DeClerck, Line J. Gordon, Ramy Zurayk, Peter Scarborough, Mike Rayner, Brent Loken, Jess Fanzo, H. Charles J. Godfray, David Tilman, Johan Rockström, Walter Willett (2018): Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits. Nature [DOI:10.1038/s41586-018-0594-0]

Weblink to the article:  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0594-0


Weblink to the press release of Oxford University:
http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-10-11-feeding-10-billion-people-2050-within-planetary-limits-may-be-achievable

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