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An additional 4 billion people in the world could be fed if land currently used to grow crops for livestock were given over to crops for human consumption, according to a new study.

The work of a team at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study says that 36 percent of the calories produced by the world’s crops are being used for animal feed … and only 12 percent of those calories ultimately contribute to the human diet (as meat and other animal products).


In the US two thirds of calories produced per acre of land are consumed by animals, rather than people. The authors of the study state that “the US agricultural system alone could feed 1 billion additional people by shifting crop calories to direct human consumption”.

With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, it casts into stark relief the assessments made by some in the livestock and agricultural industries that the only way to feed the world is to increase production or use more efficient technology.

Rather the study underlines the fact that we already have enough to feed ourselves more efficiently and equitably, provided we grow crops for people, rather than animals – that is, that we eat less meat. “Even small shifts in our allocation of crops to animal feed and biofuels could significantly increase global food availability, and could be an instrumental tool in meeting the challenges of ensuring global food security,” the report’s authors state

More on the solution to feeding our planet's growing population below the fold.

Most are aware of the landmark UN study "Livestock's Long Shadow" which states that at least 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally are produced by the livestock sector. So in addition to the benefit of being a solution to world hunger, a reduction of livestock production would be a major contributor to mitigating the crisis of climate change.

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) scientists, looking to increased weather instability due to climate change and increased future global populations, are sounding the alarm (pdf) about our unsustainable food system. They are recommending that over-consuming rich nations, particularly the U.S. and Europe at least, halve their consumption of animal protein to prevent destruction of our natural world due to water, land and air pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Indeed, leading water scientists from the The Stockholm International Water Institute are issuing a warning that food shortages in the future will dictate a global transition to vegetarian diets by 2050.

"There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.
Visionary humanitarian Frances Moore Lappe's first book was the iconic Diet for a Small Planet first published in 1971. This book touched off a conversation which continues today: How to feed the world's people equitably so that no one in the world goes to bed hungry. Frances Lappe wrote that healthy food should be a human right and advocates for a reform of our inefficient food system to one of more efficient distribution by transitioning to a global vegetarian diet.

Indeed, as we move forward it's a good time to initiate the conversation with our families and friends about how we can all be part of the solution to feeding our planet's growing population and mitigating the crisis of climate change. The solution is on our plate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Talk to me when they can make textured soy (16+ / 0-)

    protein taste like a ribeye.

    I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:35:26 PM PDT

    •  not a big fan of tofu (or even a small one) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shmuelman, Munchkn

      But if there's a good dim sum joint where you live...try the turnip cakes...rectangular patties of steamed/fried shredded turnip/daikon with crispy bits of chinese bacon in them.  They are addictive.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:43:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Long time vegan/vegetarian (9+ / 0-)

      here, and I cannot remember what meat tastes like.
      It's been 50 years or so since I eat meat, but I do understand how additive fats can be to some people, and I think the only thing that will save us is the development of lab grown meat, which is now in it's infancy, but will become more excepted as the damage caused by cattle farming becomes more known.
      Lab grown meats may be able to reduce the bad elements of meat, maybe replace the bad fats with more of the good ones.

      Severely Socialist 47283

      by ichibon on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:13:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mmmmmmm....From the Lab to our meat counter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TX Scotia

        in 24 hours.  Guaranteed fresh!  I can just see the supermarket ads.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:16:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, lab grown protein... (0+ / 0-)

        but not as a solution for 11+ billion...

        Ugh. --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:32:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is not just feeding those 4 billion more people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judgment at Nuremberg

          Fresh water, beds, clothes, land to garden on, ...

          Fear is the Mind Killer...

          by boophus on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 09:27:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed, but we need to diminish ourselves... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ichibon

            to about 3 billion or less, not 11 billion...

            Fresh water, beds, clothes, gardens, etc. are not going to be possible with 11 billion, much less the 7 billion we are now. Look at Bangladesh, 150 million in a country the size of Utah with less and less arable land (it's salting up).

            And as coastlines encroach on coastal cities, good night Irene...

            So, lab grown protein is fine, but we gotta decrease our footprint or we won't need it.

            Enter the Morlocks...

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 01:48:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently so, as the idea of giving up meat seems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eagleray, ichibon

        so unthinkable to most of the commenters on this diary.

    •  The in-vitro stem cell burger is coming... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, qofdisks, pvasileff
      LONDON—It looked like a cooking show, but a slightly surreal one; Martha Stewart with a twist of Mary Shelley. In what was billed as a "historic" event, Dutch stem cell researcher Mark Post presented his lab-grown hamburger to the world here on Monday—a beef patty assembled from thousands of small shreds of meat grown from bovine stem cells. British chef Richard McGeown fried the revolutionary burger with generous amounts of butter and oil, and two volunteers then tried it. "Close to meat, not that juicy," was the verdict of one of them, Austrian food trend researcher Hanni Rützler.
      Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/... (There is a paywall)
    •  I guess you have never tried Gardein (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, Munchkn, sturunner

      products.  (from BC, Canada and distributed in the US)  They have several tasty frozen faux meat items.  My favorite is Beefless Tips.  Also, if you have a Buddhist Chinese restaurant nearby you can try several items on the menu - all vegetarian.  Peking Duck is quite a treat - there is even a crispy super thin tofu "skin".

       

      •  I am sad to say (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ekdog, TX Scotia, eagleray, sillia

        that promotion of Gardein was the reason I never went to Chrissie Hynde's vegetarian restaurant in Akron until a few months before it closed.

        I don't want fake meat. I don't want to pretend to eat meat. I don't want to eat anything that tastes like meat. I want REAL vegetables!

        Last giant zucchini of the season:

        DSC_0507

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:06:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, for some folks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brasilaaron

          fake meat can help with the switch over to being vegetarian. I don't use much because of digestion challenges, but I find it is fun to have occasionally.  We have a vegan restaurant nearby that makes an excellent seitan faux turkey.  I like to serve it with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving.

          Congrats on your zucchini lasting so long.  Ours pooped out in late July.

    •  It's hard giving up what you've had all of your (0+ / 0-)

      life. It is a challenge to wean  us off of beef even if the doctor tells us we will have a heart attack and die if we have one more Big Mac ....  I hold out hope that scientist are working on better more flavorful meat substitutes... WE MUST CHANGE... OR WE WILL CHANGE...

      The thing about the truth.... It just "is".

      by Osmosis is best on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 12:34:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The pig is the ultimate recycling machine. (0+ / 0-)

        Feed it garbage (i.e. scraps from the vegan table) and it turns it into bacon.  

        I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

        by SpamNunn on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:32:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My favorite "Demolition Man" quote: (0+ / 0-)
          Edgar Friendly:  You see, according to Cocteau's plan, I'm the enemy. Because I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, freedom of choice. I'm the kind if guy who would sit in the greasy spoon and think "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the big rack of barbecued spare ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, butter and buckets of cheese alright? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnatti in a non-smoking section. I wanna run around naked with green jell-o all over my body reading a Playboy magazine. Why? Because maybe I feel the need to okay pal? I've seen the future, you know what it is. It's made by a 47 year-old virgin in gray pajamas soaking in a bubble bath, drinking a broccoli milkshake and singing "I'm an Oscar-Meyer Wiener".

          I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

          by SpamNunn on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:37:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  if 2/3 of the calories produced per acre are (10+ / 0-)

    consumed by animals, how does the amount diverted to methanol production come into play?

    China will eventually purchase much of our Grain Belt from under our feet, and this decision will no longer be ours to make.  We will become a Colony once again, supplying raw materials to our Colonial Masters, while purchasing finished goods back from them.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:40:19 PM PDT

    •  the perfect, if depressing, solution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks, TX Scotia

      to our balance-of-trade problem.

      And don't think for a moment that this hasn't occurred to the Chinese.  Hell, theirs is one of the few countries on the planet with food safety standards even lower than ours, so of course they're okay with our BSE cattle.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this diary doesn't address China's decision to (6+ / 0-)

        outsource their food requirements and relegate their own land to total industrialization.  They have major water issues...depleting aquifers, toxic rivers, tainted irrigation water.

        They have decided to put their foot on the accellerator of industrialization, give up upon any domestic policy of food self sufficiency, and plunder the rest of the world for their own internal dietary needs.  They are buying up Africa, and they are making inroads here in the USA.  

        They want more pork...and they have the cash to make that pork appear on their plates...even if it comes from a continent away.

        This country has no...NONE....food policy.  We will sell every grain of rice, or every morsel of bacon, to the highest bidder.  That will be the Chinese.

        There will come a day when this country continues to be the World's leading producer of food, but Americans can't afford it...because it has been sold to foreign bidders.

        Nice job, Washington.  Thanks for looking after us.  Nice to know that Farm Bill does me some good.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:02:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  horsecrap (0+ / 0-)

      thanks for the xenophobic fear mongering though.

  •  Contaminated Food Kills 33, Farmers Arrested (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Munchkn

    Were Monsanto and GMOs involved?

    No, what are you, fucking kidding?   Of course not!

    Diary on the death toll from food contamination.  

    Spoiler alert - lots of people killed by raw milk.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:41:24 PM PDT

  •  #1 irrigated crop in the US (31+ / 0-)

    Is turf grass. We don't even eat turf grass, but we use thousands of gallons of potable water and hundreds of pounds of fertilizers a day on an archaic symbol of our social standing: the front lawn.

    Thanks, Britain.

    So, really, our food supply isn't the only social norm that needs to be re-engineered. So does our attitude toward a small patch of common grass that we under-utilize and over-emphasize as a society.

  •  or... (6+ / 0-)

    Stop breeding and eat a great Arizona free range Arizona grown Tbone

    •  I hope to go on my first wild boar hunt (8+ / 0-)

      next year and put some free range meat in the freezer.

      Actually, I eat a lot of Vietnamese food, tofu is all right with me, rice noodles rock

      I eat 'red meat' so rarely I really wouldn't miss it, but I will give up my pork ribs only when you pry them from my dead greasy fingers.....

      So to not be 'part of the problem' I can make the jump to hunting tasty pigs that are considered an detrimental invasive species to begin with...

  •  Cut the worlds population in half (21+ / 0-)

    . . .and our problems will be a tiny fraction of what they are now. There is only ONE looming problem and that is overpopulation. A diary such as this only makes it seem as if  overpopulation is not . . .THE. . .problem!

  •  Fracking is causing me to cut back on the meat (11+ / 0-)

    Something like 3-5% of the entire world's natural gas supply goes into the production of synthetic fertilizers using the Haber-Bosch process. So everytime you eat a burger with grain fed beef you're driving the demand for fracking for natural gas. And Zeus help us when we finally run out of natural gas and can't create enough fertilizer to grow crops. That's going to get Ugh-ly.

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:49:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm curious about preparing plant protein foods (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    You have to cook beans, rice, etc. if there is little clean water or fuel, then it could be a problem. The issue I ink is industrial-scale agriculture, whether it's wheat or beef being produced.

    Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.

    by Lisa in Bama on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:50:03 PM PDT

    •  are you eating your cattle raw? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, tofumagoo

      Do they somehow not need water?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:00:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It certainly would not require a gallon of water (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        etbnc, mjshep, Whatithink

        or hours of cooking, which beans can (if they are dried beans). Eggs and chicken can be better sources of protein than beans and rice. The problem in my mind is not so much that we are growing food that we then feed to animals, but that we are producing food with industrial methods that are not sustainable, and that applies to soybeans and cattle both.

        Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.

        by Lisa in Bama on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:17:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Soylent Bipedal. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:51:49 PM PDT

  •  My local Safeway (7+ / 0-)

    is now selling an extra-firm sprouted tofu at $2.69/lb (before discounts) that fries like a charm and is tasty enough to eat raw.  

    Meat? what's that? (scratches head) . . . oh,  and there's all those nice nuts . . .

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:56:54 PM PDT

    •  I get extra-firm tofu from Trader Joes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, eagleray, Munchkn

      It's a must for Pad Thai. Don't use tofu for much of anything but oriental food. On the other hand, dead animals are definitely not appetizing.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:05:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I could live on pad thai. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn, VL Baker, Crider

        Of course, I was in a Thai restaurant just last night and ordered my food "tai pet" -- Thai hot -- and the results didn't cauterize my tongue.  Have I advanced, or were they just being nice?  Anyway, I could live on nothing but oriental food, so what the heck?  And I prefer my animals live too. :-)

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:08:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  each to his own (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider

        I'll take a rabbit etouffee over tofu any day of the week.  

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:12:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rabbits are better on your lap, Keith (0+ / 0-)

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:51:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Freeze your tofu (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner, eagleray, Crider

        This is a good way to use tofu in cooking something other than oriental cuisine and it's healthier than commercial fake ground beef. Take firm or extra firm tofu and freeze it until solid (overnight or longer, depending on your freezer temp). Then take it out and thaw it. When thawed, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it. Take the resulting spongy mass and either crumble it by hand or throw it into a food processor until it resembles coarse corn meal. Voila! you now have a ground beef substitute for spaghetti, sloppy Joes, or any recipe that calls for ground meat in some kind of sauce. It really absorbs the flavors of any sauce and tomato, soy, Worcestershire sauces, etc. darken it so it doesn't look "raw".

        •  I don't like the spongy texture (0+ / 0-)

          of frozen-and-thawed tofu.  That's why extra-firm is such a godsend.  

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:20:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tofu is the white bread of the bean world. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Dream It Real

      Tempeh is much better.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:06:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I respect tempeh lovers, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai

        but myself, I just can't stand it.   More power to you, though!

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:09:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I only like tofu when it's been made into (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          something non-tofu like, by, say, marinating and broiling it.  

          But I guess it's better than seitan, which, as the name implies, is evil.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:11:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  de gustibus etc. . . . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai, Munchkn

            because I kind of like seitan.  Of course, I've never made it myself!  But there's a Japanese restaurant in Denver (in a godawful part of town, and part of a martial arts academy) that does miracles with the stuff, so I've been spoiled. :-)

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, exceptions must always be made for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              the people who are geniuses with a given food, but I like tempeh because I can throw it into all kind of sauces one might make with chicken and it'll be good.

              Maybe if I had it cooked right I'd like it, but when I had it it squeaked when I chewed it.  Put me right off.  Granted, some of the sandwich slice things made with wheat protein (like Field Roast brand) are pretty good.

              © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

              by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:24:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And there you go! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ishmaelbychoice, cai, Munchkn

                I tried to make a jambalaya with Field Roast chorizo, and ended up having to pick the bits out.   Couldn't stand them!  

                But that's the thing about vegetarianism that needs to be communicated -- urgently -- to the curious but shy meat-eaters out there.  You and I can have diametrically opposed tastes, but vegetarianism encompasses both of us!

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:30:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never tried the chorizo, because I never liked (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  pork sausage to begin with.  Their lentil-sage slices were good, but I think they tweaked the recipe to be less to my liking.  Ah well.

                  Sorry to disappoint you, but I DO eat meat.  But I don't eat it very often, and I almost never cook it myself.  Thus, I end up eating vegetarian most of the time.  I also try to buy what eggs and dairy I eat from animals that are well-treated and well-fed -- local eggs from chickens that get to run around, milk from pastured cows.

                  I think it's ok to say, "Yeah, cutting down is great!  You don't have to be totally vegetarian," or else most people will tune out the idea.  Even Bill Clinton, recently said to have gone "vegan" eats fish or eggs once a week.  

                  But, as our previous conversation shows, YMMV.  g

                  © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

                  by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:36:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm in a mixed "marriage"; (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cai, tofumagoo, lurkyloo

                    my partner is an Iowa farm boy and likes his occasional pork chop.  So yeah, yesterday when I had Thai basis tofu at a wonderful restaurant in Middle of Nowhere, Colorado, I split an order of pork pot stickers in peanut sauce with him.

                    Tolerance is checking all of one's absolutes at the door . . . and I eat so little meat anyway. :-)

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:42:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  that's "basil tofu" of course. :-) n/t (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cai

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:43:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  There ya' go. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      corvo, qofdisks

                      There was a study awhile back showing that diets with a LITTLE pastured meat actually used less land than an all-veggie diet, because animals can be pastured on land unsuitable for farming.  People love their meat, well, then look into grass-fed and humanely raised, which are not only less torturous for the animals but also have a much better nutritional profile.  

                      The way I look at it, two or three people cutting down on their meat consumption does just as much as one person going vegan... and it's a lot more likely.  One could look at the comments in this diary extolling bacon as disruptive... or one could accept that many people won't ever give up all their meat, and go from there.

                      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

                      by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:54:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I'll be intolerant enough to say (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        cai

                        that it depends on the bacon. :-)  There are tasty and reasonably well-and-humanely raised options, of course, :-)

                        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                        by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:17:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  cuban black beans, or red beans and rice (Congri) (5+ / 0-)

        are as good as it gets.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:14:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dal! (7+ / 0-)

          Dal (split lentils cooked Indian style) is yum.  So good.  

          Actually, if you go find pretty much any authentic recipe for beans or lentils from the Mediterranean through North Africa to India, chances are it'll be good.

          I think promoting tofu=vegetarianism/veganism is a big mistake.  Some people like it, some don't, and there are infinite other options.  

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:22:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  double yum! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai, qofdisks

            In  heaven there's dal malkhani at every meal. :-)))

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:21:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  or, as my parner said when I brought home (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai

            some dal malkhani from, of all places, Big Lots: "You know, you're right: This does taste just like Cincinnati chili!" . . .

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:23:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Corvo, "I've eaten Cincinnati Chili... (0+ / 0-)

              I know Cincinnati Chili.  Cincinnati chili was/is a friend of mine....your dal malkhani is no Cincinnati chili."

              Compliments of Lloyd Bentsen, who wasn't from Ohio...but if he were, he would have responded thusly.

              Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

              by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:46:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, only because of the lack of animal fat. (0+ / 0-)

                But it's no worse an approximation than "Cincinnati Recipe" in the packet with bona fide ground beef.  

                The real stuff is Skyline or Empress (and yes, wars have been fought over less than between Skyline and Empress).  But don't knock a righteous dal malkhani until you've tried it. :-)

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:06:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I couldn't agree more...and this carnivore loves (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            his lentils.  I really don't chow down on huge slabs of meat every evening...but I do like it.   I have cut down on my meat consumption markedly over the past 4 years...but I will never cut it out completely.

            I can make a split pea soup that will feed me for three days with just a small piece of Cure 86 ham...but that piece of ham makes all the difference.

            My sister and I go in halves each year on a whole lamb.  It's grass fed, locally, and cut up into chops and roasts and sausage and ground lamb and...perhaps the best part...shanks.  My sister and I always fight over the shanks.

            You can braise those suckers with a bunch of root crops, and serve it over rice...and really have a delicious meal that is meat based but isn't really meat-centric.  

            That id what really needs to change.  It's not about giving up meat.  It's finding delicious ways to make a meal with meat that isn't centered around the meat.  The meat is just another ingredient...allbeit an essential one.  THAT'S the way forward...not living upon lentils and tofu.

            Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

            by Keith930 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:36:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  oh yum. I'm a HUGE fan of beans. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:20:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Enough food for 4 billion people? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, qofdisks

    ...animals can be such pigs.


    My life is in total anarchy. I have no respect for my own authoritarianism. - UID 16382

    by glb3 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:57:32 PM PDT

  •  Also too, about half our food in the U.S. is (11+ / 0-)

    thrown away.  In some cases, it goes bad; in others, it never even makes it to the grocery store display because it doesn't look "perfect".

    In developing countries, the waste partly results because small farmers (the majority of whom are female) don't have the refrigeration, roads, or funds to get their crops into towns and cities to sell.

    As to the 4 billion more, there are two issues.  Well, three.

    1)  We have enough food to feed everyone on the earth right now.  That we are not doing so is a matter of distribution/affordability, not a worldwide shortage.  (Although the destruction of grain stores at the behest of the globalization forces does put us in a precarious position.

    2)  Regardless of food, four billion more people will cause further losses to forests, wildlife habitats, and "ecosystem services", those "free" services a functional ecosystem provides, everything from water purification to erosion prevention to protection from storm surges and violent storms.  No doubt, the vast majority of environmental damage is caused by those of us in the developed world.  Nonetheless, adding billions more people in poor countries isn't going to be good for anybody, including the residents of those countries.

    And finally,

    3)  As a September 2012 Oxfam report entitled "Extreme Weather, Extreme Prices" pointed out, most forecasts of future crop yields under climate change conditions deal with gradual effects, rather than extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.  Oxfam concluded that these extreme weather events will have a far greater impact on food availability and prices than incremental temperature increases on grain yields.

    In other words, any claim that we will be able to support a given future population increase is irresponsible in the absence of any meaningful action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions... Now.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:58:41 PM PDT

  •  Why (6+ / 0-)

    Another 4 billion people?! More cars, more pollution. Forget it.

  •  Talk about burying the lede (17+ / 0-)

    Rather than worrying about how we're going to feed 9 billion people, might it be more productive to figure out how not to have 9 billion people in the first place?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:08:46 PM PDT

    •  The human population will decline significantly... (9+ / 0-)

      ... in coming decades. The choices we make now will determine how painful that process will be.

      We can stop adding to carbon pollution. We can begin begin restoring the ecosystems that have been crowded out by our farming practices. We can use our country's wealth to lift families out of poverty around the globe, thus making it less necessary for them to have a lot of children.

      Or we can fail to do those things and bestow upon our grandchildren a truly brutal existence.

      And yet half the comments in this thread are jokes about the idea of changing the way we eat. That's disappointing.

      •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
        And yet half the comments in this thread are jokes about the idea of changing the way we eat
        No, a lot of comments have been made here addressing the very serious subject of human overpopulation.

        This diary presents the point of view that feeding another four billion people would be a good thing. No, it isn't. The human race doesn't have the right to infinite population growth.

        •  We are not in disagreement about that. (0+ / 0-)

          As I said, the human population will decline in coming decades. It can happen because of famine, drought, floods and resource wars, or it can happen in a deliberate and sensible way that actually results in improvements in people's lives. I'd prefer the second path, of course.

          The other part of my comment was lamenting how unwilling people are acknowledge the need to change the way we live. I think maybe I didn't write that clearly enough.

          •  CupaJoe. You fail to be specific about what that (4+ / 0-)

            "deliberate and sensible way that actually results in improvements in people's lives." would be.

            May I suggest a cultural revolution promoting birth control by any means.  Birth control is honorable and abortion is a moral choice.
            We need to be teaching that to our children by having celebrations with special colors, foods, music and other traditions" when a child goes on birth control before becoming sexually active say at age 13.  Anyone that does not have a reproductive plan should be shamed, shunned and even considered bad for society.
            A societal value would be to control your reproduction.  One may plan for 1 or 2 children but, only if conditions are at optimum having enough resources and time to properly raise human beings.

          •  You're unhappy that they don't agree with you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk
            The other part of my comment was lamenting how unwilling people are acknowledge the need to change the way we live.
            Oh, lots of people are willing to change the way they live. But you should recognize the fact that telling people that they can't eat ice cream or pizza with cheese on it isn't going to win you any friends.
    •  Easy answer: Educate Women. (13+ / 0-)

      It appears to be the most cost effective method.

      •  Exactly. Educate women, and work for social (6+ / 0-)

        change that allows them to choose when, if, and how many children to have.  (It works just fine in Catholic or Muslim countries.)

        Added to that, one must work on infant mortality, because as long as a child under five is considered a shaky bet, parents will choose to have more kids.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That would certainly help (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Phoenix Woman

        However, I would not characterize it as "easy" and I am not sure it is as effective as one might otherwise think.

        But absolutely, lots of dollars should be put into that endeavor.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:48:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not easy. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Phoenix Woman, engine17

          It is pretty simple, and it has worked pretty well where it's been tried.

          But there's not enough money OR enough will to really push it.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:59:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It actually has been very effective (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eagleray, qofdisks, Sparhawk, engine17

          and very consistent.

          Keep in mind that we're not just talking about educating women about contraception/reproductive choice; that is helpful, but not a magic bullet.

          What is practically a magic bullet is keeping girls in school. The longer the better, but even one additional year of education has a major impact.

          And it's not easy, but it's really cheap.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:19:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are also some related things (0+ / 0-)

          that tend to help. Anything that empowers women within the family tends to delay marriage and reduce family sizes.

          Education is definitely the strongest factor. There doesn't seem to be a lower or an upper limit; whether it's sending girls to first grade or women to Ph.D programs, whether it's poor rural villagers or upper-middle-class Westerners, every year of education received by women/girls in a community reduces the average number of children per woman in that community. The trend continues even when you're not sure you want it to (as in Japan and some Western European countries, where the birth rate has fallen well below replacement).

          But some other programs are also quite effective in poor communities specifically:

          * Microlending and investment in women-owned businesses.

          * Community banking programs run by women.

          * Region-specific efforts to help women market and distribute the products they make.

          Basically, if you change the economic calculus by putting women in control of a cash income stream, that increases their negotiating power. They feel more free to refuse sex or insist on contraception and their wishes are much more likely to be respected.

          Even young girls are valued more if they're perceived to have a future as business owners and generators of wealth rather than just as unpaid childcare workers and domestic laborers. Men aren't nearly as eager to marry their young daughters off if they know those daughters will be able to support themselves or help support the family in a socially-acceptable way.

          The neat thing about investment-type programs is that they're really cheap after the initial investment in infrastructure. Financial, marketing, and distribution services can all essentially pay for themselves. Even if you provide services below-cost, the actual amount of money 'given' is very, very low compared to the immediate gain in economic activity, even if you don't count the future savings from slower population growth and healthier communities with better economic prospects.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:53:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The human population tripled between` (10+ / 0-)

      1920 or so and 1960. Petroleum power, for the most part.

      There are way too many people.

      I'll do my part, in about 40 years....

      •  I watched Bill Mahar's Vice show (5+ / 0-)

        Excellent program. They showed how Nigeria has oil resources but tons of people live on the equivalent of a dollar a day or whatever in miserable shanties or on garbage piles. A number of communities supplement their extremely meager income with oil pipeline thefts (cut a hole in the pipeline and steal the oil.) Occasionally this process goes horribly wrong and people are killed in the ensuing fires.

        Anyway, looking it up on Wiki I discovered that Nigeria has fucking 170 million people, more than half the population of the US with an economy on the order of 3% of the size of the US. Suddenly the mess in that country makes a lot more sense!

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:45:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They've also been colonized and neocolonized (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, Phoenix Woman

          by Europeans and corporations.  Don't ignore that.  

          And, part of the reason the U.S. is not so densely populated is that the colonizers here did their best to destroy the Native populations.  That's no sign of intelligence, foresight, or restraint.

          People living on less than a dollar a day may need help affording birth control.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:02:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I must be a better citizen than you, Dr. Zombie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        internationaljock

        I expect to do my part much sooner than 40 years.  Much, much sooner.  Of course, I got a bit of a head start on sitting around breathing and farting and consuming stuff, so it's only fair I get recycled first.

        Meanwhile, I agree with those up yonder who say that this world doesn't need an additional 4 billion humans.

        Romae in die non combureretur.

        by Not A Bot on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:51:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am all for eating less meat. (4+ / 0-)

    But I have a bit of selective eating disorder. In fact, I've tried to cut down on meat consumption and to an extent, have (including no beef at all) but going further there are real questions as to whether I can get adequate nutrition without at least SOME meat.

  •  10 to 1 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai

    It's been a few years, but the last ratio I recall was that every calorie of edible human food required ten calories of oil / fossil fuel to produce.

    As oil and fossil fuels become expensive and difficult to obtain, it seems to me we humans will find ourselves confronting that ratio again.

  •  We're born carnivores, and I intend to (6+ / 0-)

    continue honoring my genetic heritage.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:31:03 PM PDT

  •  NO. We need to reduce BELOW 4 billion. (7+ / 0-)

    In fact, the chances are that we need to be between 1 and 3 billion, no more.

    Well, some of you will be around at 2050, don't come crying to my ashes.

    11 billion, you're all nuts, technology will only exacerbate the problem.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:31:19 PM PDT

  •  Or, you know, we could (6+ / 0-)

    just reduce the overall population. Just a thought.

  •  What do we do after there are 9 billion? (7+ / 0-)

    and there are no more forests, and no more wild animals, and no more clean water, the oceans become sewers and garbage dumps, there is no more air to breath. It is going to be a pretty hard sell that the West should become vegans to support geometric population growth in  equatorial Africa and India so that we can have 5 or 6 billion people in the world living in grinding poverty. There was a pretty good diary I read here that China is becoming so polluted that they are struggling to grow food. http://www.dailykos.com/...
    They are forced to pollinate by hand because they have wiped out the bee population in certain areas.
    There is going to be some pretty serious strife before the world gets to the 9 billion number and I am not sure that our purpose is to see how many people the planet can support before we reach total environmental collapse.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 06:32:16 PM PDT

  •  Humans are addicted to meat. It is just something (0+ / 0-)

    they like.  Even in places that don't have it on a regular basis, generally eat it anytime they can.  It surrounds holidays and feasts and is a big part of social events.  It would take a tremendous effort to stop people from eating it, even if by a percentage....and to do so would require mandates and laws rather than just social outreach.

     There are lots and lots of folks that won't eat a veggie to save their lives....even if that is meant in a literal true sense.  Unfortunately.

  •  Thanks VL Baker (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, Munchkn, sillia

    for the diary!  I read Diet for a Small Planet soon after it first came out in 1972.  It had a profound effect on my eating habits.  I became mostly vegetarian, lapsed a few times and have been vegetarian since 1980. Lacto-veg actually, still have some cheese and yoghurt.  :-)

    I originally became a vegetarian just to try to be a more responsible planetary citizen concerned about maximizing the limited resources we have to feed ourselves.  I continue to be a vegetarian for my health and to help lighten my karmic load.

  •  Big problem: carbohydrates vs. fats & proteins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, loretta

    The problem nobody wants to confront is that humans evolved eating mostly animal food and leafy greens, which have virtually no carbohydrates.

    When we invented agriculture and started depending on carbohydrates (grains) about 12,000 years ago, our nutritional health went into free fall (read Jared Diamond). Today our fondness for sugar and flour have produced an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

    Unfortunately, with 7 billion hungry mouths on the planet, there's no going back to a "paleo" diet.

    What's the answer? Beats me.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:02:07 PM PDT

    •  Reducing refined sugar and flour intake (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      helps a lot.  If we could get rid of high-fructose corn syrup in our foods that would go a long way to help prevent obesity and diabetes.  The next step is increasing the intake of whole grains and reducing the intake of highly processed foods.

      The fast food industry has certainly "helped" with our nutritional downfall in recent years.  Unfortunately, we have shared the Golden Arches et al with the world.

      For my health I have cut WAY down on processed and refined foods.  By using a rice cooker over the last few months I have easily increased my consumption of whole grains and beans. My digestion has thanked me for it.  

    •  One problem w/thesis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eagleray

      First-worlders didn't start getting massively obese/diabetic/etc. until the 20th century, thousands of years AFTER the birth of agriculture.

      In fact, it wasn't until after World War II that Americans started getting fat.  Up to that point, they were indeed larger than their European kin, but that was because they were in general better nourished.

      (One of the problems faced by first-generation Irish-American women in the decades before routinely survivable Caesarians was that they would marry American men whose families had been in America for a few generations, and who tended to be much more robustly built than their wives.  The women would get pregnant, and their fetuses' heads would be too large to pass through their birth canals, which usually meant the deaths of both woman and fetus.   Understanding doctors or nurses would try to ease the women's agony by aborting the fetus, but the Catholic Church did its best to stop that practice, preferring to subject both woman and fetus to days if not weeks of torture until the exhausted woman finally died.)

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 09:19:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I followed your link to the study (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bgblcklab1

    If I'm ever looking for a place to publish I'll keep them in mind.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:14:36 PM PDT

  •  An extra 4 billion people on this planet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, qofdisks, internationaljock

    is something we should be working to prevent.  

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:15:54 PM PDT

  •  THis BS. We poison our Water and kill more than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    what we can eat.

    Use the EPA to clean our waters and air and we could eat better foods than the crap we do now.

    Stay with chemicals in food supply and we die out and kill the rest of the world while we are at it.

  •  How about we split the difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dream It Real

    and maybe don't eat as much meat.

    I like meat as much as the next person, maybe more, but I don't have to eat it every day.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:23:01 PM PDT

  •  Sorry but this prediction ignores eco substitution (0+ / 0-)

    Substitution in economics dictates that if there is a desire for something and a substitute can be found, resources will be directed there. Cows, pigs, goats, and chickens can all eat algae and sea weed. There is so much ocean and sea area available for aquaculture it dwarfs the amount of fallible land 9 to 1.

    Yes I know aquaculture will bring with it evironmental concers, but if farm land because scarce anyone who doesn't think it will happen is willfuly ideologically blind. In fact something called Irish Moss is vey popular in both South East Asia, North Asia, and the Caribbean (I in fact had some 3 weeks ago).

    As I wrote outside South East Asia, North Asia, and the Caribbean, sea weed and algae may not be popular, but cows, pigs, goats, and chickens won't care.

    Not seeing aquaculture is similar to predictiosn of peak oil, that didn't predict fracking. Everyone knew shale oil was there but prior to 15 years ago it wasn't economical to extract it, higher oil prices drove resources to get it. Even if we stop fracking in the US, South Africa has started doing it, Argentinia, the UK, and China are all beigining to explore it. I'm not saying this is good or bad, I'm just saying that's how economic works. The same thing will happen to aquaculture.

    I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this prediction doesn't seem realistic to me.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:26:17 PM PDT

    •  One final point (OK two) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      The other big opportunity for substitution is to recycle waste food. Grocery stores, and restaurants throw away as much as 10-15% of the western food supply. Starting a program to collect this, use UV sterilization on it, feeding this food to grub insects and worms, and then turning the grubs and worms into animal feed would be a huge help to the environment. As I wrote above the insect meal people are fighting against a huge amount of cultural revulsion towards insects (yes I know there are several places in the world that eat insect but not most). But cows, pigs, goats, and chickens won't care if they are eating them. This would be a great environmental movement to start.

      Also as many countries in Africa are starting to build better infrastructure (courtesy of the Chinese) expect less wasting of food. As much as 50% of all the food grown in Africa rots before it reaches market because of poor transportation networks.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:38:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Assuming that rapidly acidifying oceans (0+ / 0-)

      continue to produce kelp. (Jellyfish and dinoflagellates seem to be loving the changes, though.)

      Kelp beds tend to occur in deep upwelling zones where cold bottom waters with lots of nutrients come to the surface. Deep upwelling is expected to be reduced by warming ocean surface waters.

  •  I'm tired of this argument (5+ / 0-)

    1. There are many places on the planet that will not support crops -- too hilly, too rocky, too hard to cultivate -- but capable of supporting modest grazing animals. Animals (some) can also survive well on the parts of plants that people can't eat. If properly done, a mixed farming operation is probably the most efficient use of mixed land, with manure enriching the crop-growing and animals consuming the "waste" from crops.
    2. An extra 4 billion people would exceed the water supply of the planet, even if we could grow more food. Water, and conflicts over water, are more of a limiting factor than land. Yes, I know that raising livestock (especially large animals) uses more water than growing some crops. But my point is that we can't allow the population to add another 4 billion people, for a whole host of reasons in addition to food issues.
    3. Many many of us have tried vegetarian/vegan diets and find our bodies do not do well on them. If vegan works well for you, great. Yes, I've watched Bill Clinton's video etc. etc. etc. But I've been cycling through this for 45 years, and while I can reduce my animal intake, every time I eliminate it altogether, I feel awful. I'm not willing to torture myself for some sort of ideological purity. Been there, done that, not going there any more.

    •  We'll eat what's available and what we (0+ / 0-)

      can afford. Period. Our heritage, resources and politics favor grain fed meats. We could change that and economics may force that hand. We're an adaptive bunch in the end.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:27:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shouldn't be oppositional (5+ / 0-)

    Can we work on lowering population growth AND use less animal agriculture?

    I don't think the equation is: "use condoms and it's hamburgers for everybody!!"
     

    "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

    by joojooluv on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:32:53 PM PDT

  •  UN Food and Ag lowered its agriculture emissions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, the fan man

    estimate (for animal agriculture) to 14.5% of the human induced total greenhouse gas emissions.  See:

    http://www.fao.org/...

    [PDF page 37].

  •  what possible reason could exist that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etbnc, qofdisks, internationaljock

    we would want 4 billion MORE people here on this poor exhausted planet?

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:47:47 PM PDT

    •  getting folks to think about these things (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks, atana, Egalitare, VL Baker

      I have some comments up-thread about this.

      I've been peripherallly involved in human-population-uh-oh topics for a decade. I've seen a lot of well-meaning folks get skewered for attempting to start a conversation about this stuff.

      Some folks -- many folks, in my experience -- aren't ready to talk about human population. Ever. At all.

      Talking about food and agriculture instead can be a way to approach the subject obliquely. Vegetarian diet has been VL's schtick for quite a while. Talking about alternative diets sometimes works to engage new participants in a conversation about sustainability.

      My diet is not strictly vegetarian, nor will I advocate adding billions of humans to our population. As a conversation-starter at a web site where a lot of participants are likely to be wary of the conversation in any form? I'm okay with it.

      As my signature below says, I think it's wrong, but it's useful anyway.

      Cheers

      •  as i have pointed out before here, (0+ / 0-)

        there is precisely one modern industrial country that has addressed this issue.  But Kossaks will scream  **anti-democratic!*,  *human rights!*  and *authoritarian!**  and the discussion closes.  Meanwhile nobody thanks the nation in question for reducing the potential global population by a billion mouths.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 07:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lets not even get started on food turned into fuel (0+ / 0-)

    The height of irresponsible, pork driven, parochial rent seeking bullshit. Emblematic of everything wrong with our political system, when something that every objective observer agrees is bad gets stuffed by corn-belt politicos into the budget every single year.

    Left Coast Libertarian

    by pacspeed on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:49:47 PM PDT

  •  What if new methods could save water and global.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, ume

    ..warming reduced raising livestock more naturally.

    Not as is done today in highly concentrated herds on ranches using feed houses with the feed grown in a different location.

    Since their are many people who want to eat beef and pork etc.

     I'm wondering what if anything you think of this TED presentation on reversing global warming using methods of raising livestock

     
    Are these livestock management good ideas that could actually work?

    Increasing natural grassland acreage with care not to overgraze, using the livestock poop as fertilizer. And allowing predators to take their share of the livestock

    No expert here but the ideas sounded promising

    Thx VL Baker

    •  fine for feeding a few but, not enough water or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      land to even feed current meat consumption levels.  Must reduce consumption drastically to reach a sustainable level,  Scale is the problem.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 07:41:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How did we become meat-eaters? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      This is what this diary had me pondering.  But after reading around a bit, like:

      Meat eating behind evolutionary success of humankind

      or reading

      Eating meat may have made us human

      I’ve decided that this is a case when the knowledge of ‘how’ is useless.

      Fact is we must  reduce consumption of meat; we must go from carnivore to omnivore and possibly all the way to herbivore ( and instead of useless, this is a case when the knowledge of ‘how’ is mandatory).

      One stubborn fact: humans have to obtain 8 of the 20 amino acids from their diet.

      It is not only that muscle tissue is very high in protein containing all of the essential amino acids; it is also that, like you say, people have developed a taste for flesh.  

      It is ironic that we now have the biggest  brain of among all the primates and that it represents an evolutionary boost that came from meat-eating.  

      Was this a conscious choice?  No matter. This big brain gives us conscious choice now.  But there is no accounting for taste as they say.

      We've reached the point where we're unfazed by things that should shake us to the core. –Bill McKibben (Volva Award recipient)

      by ume on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 11:01:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These are incredibly exciting ideas that can have (0+ / 0-)

      huge beneficial impacts, the first and foremost of which is reducing atmospheric carbon by putting loads of it back where it should be--in the deep soil of the Earth's vast grasslands.

      It's not going to solve global warming.  But it can help.  And any practices that allow an increase in natural, permanent sequestration -- particularly in the crucial period of the next 50-100 years -- offer a bit of precious breathing room and may help us avoid catastrophe.

      In terms of feeding people, it can have a marked impact in Africa, in the areas where the indigenous cultures have always depended heavily on cattle.  Desertification has proceeded slowly, over centuries, leaving the cattle herds smaller and less healthy, and the people more impoverished.  Increasing the cattle herds in a sustainable way will help the various cultures to thrive in their traditional areas and retain their ways of life, while giving them a base to improve their economic conditions.

      THe little I've been able to read about Integrated Management indicates that the improvement in the land also allows an increase in the wild herds living there.  That's very encouraging too.

      In the US, we eat so much grain-fed, factory-farmed beef that we can't expect to fully replace that (including the tons we import) in a sustainable way.  There still needs to be a real change in consciousness and habits.  But Integrated Management could certainly increase the supply of sustainably raised, grass-fed beef.  That can only help when it comes to convincing people to reject factory-farmed beef, or to outlaw those very destructive practices altogether. It means we can have more flexibility in terms of people continuing to eat beef on occasion, or in some cases often, if they're willing to pay the price for grass-fed beef.

      I'm hoping to see more detailed reports on these practices.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:15:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's "holistic management," not "integrated." (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:38:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Humanity's greatest struggle. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man

    World peace.  0% unemployment.  A worldwide minimum wage.  These things seem easy compared to giving up bacon forever.

    I blame the pigs.

  •  I'd also add (0+ / 0-)
    Grow crops for humans, not fuel.
    I.e., stop this ethanol nonsense.

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