According to Credit Suisse, food production and consumption contribute well over 20 per cent to global greenhouse gas emissions and account for more than 90 per cent of the world’s freshwater consumption.
The likely growth in the world’s population to 10 billion by 2050 coupled with a further shift in diets could increase food-related emissions by another 46 per cent, while demand for agricultural land could increase by 49 per cent.
This is incompatible with the need to achieve a net-zero emission environment globally by 2050. If we are to meet this goal, we need to change what we eat, how much we eat, and how we produce our food.
The double burden of malnutrition
A sustainable global food system benefits the global eco-system as well as human health.
But we have a long way to go to get there: today almost 700 million people are undernourished, while 40 per cent of the world’s adult population is overweight or obese.
Some studies suggest that more than 20 per cent of total deaths among adults aged 25 and older can be attributed to poor dietary habits, causing great human suffering, as well as damage to the economy.
We need to produce and consume more affordable, healthy food in order to restore the health of both humans and the planet. In order to do so, governments, businesses and citizens must get behind this topic and push for action.