Climate change could make half the world’s current farmland unsuitable.
Agriculture, ironically, produces a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. We will only be able to reduce the human impact on earth if we eat less meat and stop the biofuels boom.
The world’s farmers currently produce enough calories to feed nine billion people a healthy, mostly vegetarian diet yet there are 805 million malnourished people on the planet.
It takes five times more grain to get the equivalent amount of calories from pork as it does from eating the grain itself, and 10 times for beef. And the land devoted to biofuels is projected to increase fourfold by 2030.
If the west halved its meat consumption, recycled animal and crop waste better, and used biofuel crops, we could feed 9.3 billion by 2050 without destroying more forests.
If the world’s 75 million unwanted pregnancies were prevented, the global population would rise more gradually to 8.4 billion by 2050 and then fall.
Halving UK meat and dairy consumption and replacing it with more grain, fruit and vegetables would save up to 43,600 lives from diet-related diseases each year. British farmers have this year twice smashed the record for the world’s highest-yielding wheat crop ever recorded.