Food security

As human numbers build towards 10 billion, population and economic growth will between them will drive a doubling in global demand for food by the 2060s. At the same time the key resources needed to produce food by traditional means are running out: soil, fresh water, wild fish, fertilizer minerals and a stable, reliable climate. 

Also the modern industrial diet is neither healthy nor safe, being linked increasingly by science to pandemics of obesity, diabetes, cancers, mental and reproductive disorders, while today's agriculture is a key driver of species extinction, landscape loss and failing planetary health.

Present 'solutions' - clearing more land, using more fossil energy and chemicals in high intensity systems, will exacerbate climate change, increase loss of soil and water and damage human health. They offer no answer to the existential threat of food insecurity.

Far-reaching solutions are called for, which may include:

  • developing new diets which are both healthy and sustainable
  • re-wilding half of the area worldwide presently used for agriculture or grazing
  • converting existing food systems to eco-agriculture and carbon farming on the best land
  • recycling all water and nutrients and building urban food production to meet future human needs; ending all food waste and banning its disposal in landfill.
  • developing aquaculture and algae culture worldwide to supplement the global food supply
  • developing biocultures and novel sources of healthy food, including cultured meat, dairy, egg and fish products.
  • domesticating many of the 27,000 edible plants that humanity does not presently eat.
  • teaching all children to respect food and not to waste it, to eat for health and sustainability.  



Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
267185943Click/tap this sequence: 2791

Australia21This website was commenced by a group of Members of The Emeritus Faculty at The Australian National University and is administered by a steering group of the not-for profit think tank, Australia21. The views expressed on this website are those of the initial author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the University, the Emeritus Faculty or Australia21.

Please select the link to see further details about the steering group.