Synonymous to starvation when there is no food left, part of the world has started to feel that already, whereas on the other hand we witness massive wastage of food that frustrates, but you cannot do anything about it. Unfortunately, the gap is likely to worsen, leading to an increase in food wastage and pressure on the environment, as per the new study. A team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) observed the consequences of a continuation of the transition of the current nutrition, from low starch-based diets to processed and animal products. The calculations could be combined for the first time to estimate the underweight and overweight food composition and wastage. Their findings anticipate that 4 billion people by the year 2050 could land being fat, where 1.5 billion of them could be obese and 500 Million underweight.
On the continuation of the observed nutrition transition, it will be impossible to achieve the United Nations’ worldwide hunger eradication goal, as explained by Benjamin Bodirsky of the PIK. He is also the author of the study published in Scientific Reports. Our future is also likely to be characterized by overweight and obesity mind-blowing magnitude. 45% percent of the world is expected to be overweight by 50, and 16 percent would be obese by 2050 compared to the 2010 data, where 29 % were overweight, and 9 percent were obese. Due to the insufficient global distribution of food and the transition from low processed plant-based diets approaching the unbalanced and affluent diets, the whole grains and pulses are displaced by sugar, fat, and animal protein.
Bodisrsky adds to the worry of some statements, stating that the combination of increased wastage of food and the growing consumption of animal protein signifies that the agricultural system that is environmentally impacted will be out of control. Be it nitrogen pollution, greenhouse gases, or deforestation, the planets’ limit is being pushed and exceeded.
One-fourth of the global land area is what is crop and land grazing covers. It may be used for human consumption. It’s estimated that is due to our food system that one-third of the greenhouse gases are emitted. The study’s main motive is that with the currently ongoing process of the food system and demands, the global food demand shall be increased by 50% in 2050 from 10% in 2010, and the demand for animal products like meat and milk will be doubled. For this to happen, many lands will be needed, which could harm the environment and the planet.
By looking at the bright, the same land area could be used for plant-based foods than te animal-based foods, stated by Alexander Popp, the co-author and the head of the PIK land use management research group. He simplified in t by saying that if people keep eating more meat, then the plant-based food will be fewer in quantity for people who consume them. A lot more land is needed for food production that leads to deforestation, and by keeping more animals, you are increasing the emission of greenhouse gases.
The co-author Prjal Pradhan of PIK, explains that there is sufficient food globally, but the ultimate problem is for the poor people on our planet to have less income. On the other hand, in developed nations, people barely feel the environmental and economic consequences of wasting food. Redistribution is enough as both rich and poor eat in less quantity due to the lack of knowledge for a healthy way of eating and nutrition.
Sabine Gabrysch ends the discussion with a reflection stating that there is a need for political measures to create an environment for promoting healthy eating measures. It could lead to introducing regulations to limit the marketing of unhealthy snacks and popularize sustainable and nutritious meals in canteens, hospitals, and schools. Like we educate our students to be a developed human and potential tool in the job market. Similarly, we have to inform the people on nutrition to sustain the job market and in life. The process must begin from the very moment the children have entered the kindergarten schools and teach them that what we eat is what we become. Eating also plays a vital role in our health and even for the planet. Eating in a balanced quantity can also save our world from other impacts.