Cén chuma a bheidh ar phláta na todhchaí?

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Cén chuma a bheidh ar phláta na todhchaí?

Cén chuma a bheidh ar phláta na todhchaí?
According to demographic forecasts, we will be 9,6 billion to share the Earth’s resources with us by 2050. This figure is not without frightening given what this represents in terms of food resource management, in particular of environmental point of view. So what will we be eating in the near future? PasseportSanté covers the various options.

Promote sustainable intensification of agriculture

Obviously, the main challenge is to feed 33% more men with the same resources as now. Today, we know that the problem does not lie so much in the availability of resources as in their distribution around the world and waste. Thus, 30% of global food production is lost after harvest or wasted in stores, households or catering services.1. In addition, much of the grain and land is set aside for animal husbandry rather than food crops.2. As a result, it seems necessary to rethink agriculture so that it is consistent with both environmental objectives – saving water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, waste – and demographic forecasts.

Improve the animal husbandry system

For a sustainable intensification of the livestock system, the idea is to produce as much meat using less food. For this, it is suggested to produce breeds of cattle that are more productive in meat and milk. Today, there are already chickens that can reach a weight of 1,8 kg with 2,9 kg of feed only, a conversion rate of 1,6, where a typical poultry should eat 7,2 kg.2. The objective is to reduce this conversion rate to 1,2 for increased profitability and less use of cereals.

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However, this alternative poses ethical problems: consumers are increasingly sensitive to the animal cause and show a growing interest in more responsible breeding. They defend better living conditions for animals instead of battery farming, as well as healthier food. In particular, this would allow the animals to be less stressed and therefore to produce better quality meat.3. However, these complaints require space, imply higher production costs for breeders – and therefore a higher selling price – and are not compatible with an intensive breeding method.

Reduce losses and pollution by producing better varieties of plants

The modification of certain plants could go in favor of less polluting and more profitable agriculture. For example, by creating a variety of rice that is less sensitive to salt, losses would be reduced in the event of a tsunami in Japan.4. In the same way, the genetic modification of certain plants would make it possible to use less fertilizer, and therefore to emit less greenhouse gases while achieving considerable savings. The objective would be to create varieties of plants capable of capturing nitrogen – the fertilizer for growth – in the atmosphere and fixing it.2. However, not only will we probably not achieve this for about twenty years, but these initiatives risk running up against restrictive legislation (especially in Europe) with regard to genetically modified organisms. Indeed, no long-term study has yet demonstrated their harmlessness to our health. Moreover, this way of modifying nature poses obvious ethical problems.


S ParisTech Review, Artificial meat and edible packaging: a taste of the food of the future, www.paristechreview.com, 2015 M. Morgan, FOOD: How to feed the future world population, www.irinnews.org, 2012 M. Eden , Poultry: the chicken of the future will be less stressed, www.sixactualites.fr, 2015 Q. Mauguit, What diet in 2050? An expert answers us, www.futura-sciences.com, 2012

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