If Everyone Became Vegetarians, No One Would Go To Bed Hungry [Monsanto Company]

veggieIf everyone in the world became vegetarians, none of the 9 billion people expected to populate the planet by 2050 would go to bed hungry – but a few cows might.

That’s just one of umpteen solutions being tossed around for feeding that many mouths as crop yields fall, food prices rise, droughts turn farmland to dust, and pesticide and genetically modified opponents protest more loudly.

Right now, more than one-third of the calories produced by crops harvested globally are fed to animals that in turn sustain the largest meat and dairy consumers – the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

According to German researchers, if the world’s diets continue to include animal products and the population swells as large as projections suggest, then we will be growing more crops to feed animals than people in 2050.

While the idea of going vegetarian or vegan is daunting to most, by steering clear of corn-fed beef and instead eating only chicken and fish along with more grains, beans and vegetables, the world could potentially feed an additional 4 billion people.

It’s an interesting concept, simpler than most, but not likely to be completely embraced.

Boosting Staple Crops

As we brace for a population explosion, the agricultural community is turning largely to technologies designed to boost crop yields instead of to reduce how much food we’ll need.

According to a recent report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a combination of

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