Wednesday, April 29, 2015

29/04/2015: The inexorable rise of the fish farm

In 2050, there will be two billion additional people living on Earth. India will be the largest country in the world, and more people will call Nigeria home than the United States. The average life expectancy for developed nations will be 89, developing nations 81, Matt Hansen writes for The Week.

These predictions from a 2012 United Nations demographic report on world population growth raise some big questions that could eventually cut across economies, borders, and national politics. But for researchers looking at the world's food supply, a spike in world population prompts the most essential question of all: How will all these people find enough to eat?
Image: i a walsh
That answer is complicated, said Christophe Béné, who studies food security at CGIAR, an international think tank. It involves much more than simply nutrition and access, touching on everything from climate change to economic demand to pressure on shrinking resources. Traditionally, food policymakers have looked to agriculture and proteins like chicken and beef as solutions, he said.

But earlier this year he compiled research that pointed to another food source that hasn't been considered as widely: fish.

He said studies have been lagging into fish, even though it has tangible benefits. For one, fish have a lower environmental impact than beef and pork, and adding even small portions of fish to a meal can also raise the amount of nutrients in a person's diet. And fish don't have to consume much feed to produce something edible, as opposed to the heavy diets of farm animals, he said.

Perhaps most importantly, more people around the world are already eating higher amounts of fish than any other animal.

"When you start putting together figures, when you look at fisheries and aquaculture together, fish is two times more important than chicken and three times more important than beef," he said.

Read more HERE.

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