What the world needs to know about the food of life
The first major global survey of plant food consumption has been published by the United Nations, and the findings are promising.
In this year’s Global Bioscience Report, published in March 2017, researchers from a number of countries looked at plant food production, nutritional value, sustainability and production in the global food system.
They concluded that the world’s growing food needs are growing exponentially and that the current system is unsustainable.
“As we are consuming more food, we are also consuming less and less land and water,” said Dr Senthil Mukherjee, Director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
“In the next two decades, we will need to eat much more food in the form of plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and this requires an increase in food production to meet growing demand.”
The report also highlighted the importance of the growing body of research that has been developed on the nutritional value of plants.
“The key challenge is to ensure that plant foods have sufficient nutritional value in the diet,” Dr Mukherji said.
“Food production in general, including for human consumption, requires that plant food is of a quality and quantity that is high in nutrients.”
The world’s leading research agencies, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UN Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agency (UNFPA), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), all agreed that the key challenge was ensuring that the nutritional quality of plant products was high enough to support human health and well-being.
This is particularly the case for fruit and vegetables.
“It is essential that all food production processes are environmentally sustainable,” said UNFPA’s Dr Alastair Beggs.
“While there is increasing demand for fruits and vegetable products in the world, they are underutilised and under-utilised at the moment.”
The UNFPC said that while the global population has increased by one-third in the past century, the number of people in food-secure regions such as developing countries has grown by just 2 per cent.
“This indicates that the main reasons for food scarcity in developing countries are lack of sufficient food, high price, and lack of access to nutritious food, particularly fruits and veg,” said Begg.
“There are also a number health-related and environmental concerns which need to be addressed.”
According to the report, over half of the world still relies on animal products for food.
“Animal products are used to produce a high amount of greenhouse gases and are also the main source of greenhouse gas emissions,” said BEGG.
“Although many countries are adopting the consumption of less animal products, the impact on biodiversity and on ecosystems is high.
In some regions, such as parts of India, meat and dairy products are now the main sources of food for millions of people.”
Dr Mukerjee said that it is important to understand how plants are produced and how they are used, as well as to understand the environmental impacts of their production.
“One of the key challenges for the future of food production is to understand plant production in order to understand environmental impacts and to take into account the environmental implications of food,” he said.
In the past, it has been believed that plants need to live on their own.
This theory is now known to be incorrect, according to the UNF report.
The plants need a lot of food to grow, and they also need a limited amount of water to sustain them.
This means that they must rely on soil or other organic matter to provide them with nutrients and growth.
“Research indicates that if we don’t have enough soil for plant roots, the roots will not grow,” said Mukherjee.
“That is why we need to use organic matter, for example, sand, and other organic materials to grow roots.”
“In addition, because plants require water for their roots, they need to have the necessary water to grow,” he added.
“In many parts of the planet, this is the case because water is very scarce in many areas.”
The problem is not just that there is no adequate water in many places.
“Some parts of Asia, for instance, are very poor in water,” he explained.
“So, they use water for irrigation purposes or for agriculture.
“If we don´t do this, we risk losing the biodiversity that is so important to our lives. “
We need to change this situation,” he warned.
He lives in a remote area, and he has to go to the nearby village to collect water. “
I have a very good friend in South Africa.
He lives in a remote area, and he has to go to the nearby village to collect water.
And it is not very good to have no water to go for irrigation.
It is also very bad for his environment.”
While the UN report states that the demand for plants is growing at a rate of 1,700 per cent per year, the researchers also point out that there are other challenges.
“Plants cannot adapt to the current climate.