Changing our diet would help absorb global food shocks, international study finds


Crop change as a result of dietary change within the European Union and the UK and complete manufacturing of crops in Ukraine and Russia. Dietary change drives each direct and oblique results: direct through the direct discount in consumption of some food sorts and oblique through the feed used for animal merchandise which can be subsequently consumed. The crosses point out the web change relative to exports, and the circles relative to manufacturing.Nature Food (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s43016-022-00634-4

A plant-based diet might enhance the resilience of our food system. Transferring to such a diet within the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (U.Okay.) alone might change virtually all of the manufacturing losses from Russia and Ukraine. That is what an international crew of researchers conclude in Nature Food. Leiden researcher and co-author Paul Behrens: “We are feeding animals crops that we could eat ourselves.”

“Conflict and other drivers of food shocks, such as floods and droughts, are putting pressure on food production across the world,” stated Zhongxiao Solar on the China Agricultural College and the paper’s lead creator. “A rapid shift to plant-based diets could help us bounce back from shocks while reducing water use, lowering emissions, improving our health, providing more natural areas, and much more.”

The conflict in Ukraine has had a serious impression on the global food provide. Russia and Ukraine are main producers of staple crops resembling sunflower oil and wheat. Global food insecurity had been rising steadily for a while, however the battle has pushed food costs to report highs.

Lowering overconsumption

The researchers investigated the land saved by a shift to the EAT-Lancet planetary diet throughout EU and U.Okay. international locations. Shifting to this plant-based diet would scale back food necessities by virtually the identical quantity of food produced in each Ukraine and Russia. It might absorb the massive shock of shedding these main food producers. Moreover, the diet would even be higher for the setting and well being throughout high-income nations.

“This chance arises as a result of these international locations overconsume animal merchandise and sugars,” Leiden researcher Paul Behrens and senior creator of the analysis stated. “Animals are fed crops that could be eaten directly by people: 30–40% of all crops are fed to animals. In the EU and U.K., this number rises to 60%. Animal agriculture also occupies about 80% of all agricultural land.”

Liberating up agricultural house

The researchers discovered that transferring to plant-based diets throughout the EU and U.Okay. might unlock an space barely bigger than the scale of France and the U.Okay. mixed. A few of this land might be used to exchange the misplaced crops from manufacturing shocks all over the world.

Changing all export crops from Russia and Ukraine would require about 16% of this saved land. It would additionally present a number of environmental advantages together with decreased water use, decrease emissions and higher biodiversity relying on how the saved land have been used.

Do not wait ’till nature makes the choice for us’

“We are moving into a period of increasing shocks to the food system,” Behrens stated.

“We know that plant-based diets dramatically reduce environmental impacts, but they could also help improve food security. Given the opportunity, even small cuts in animal consumption help. If we do not make these dietary shifts, prices will increase as climate impacts and conflicts get worse, making animal products increasingly expensive. It’s better to make these changes today, rather than waiting until nature makes the decision for us and the damage is already done.”

Extra info:
Qian Zhang, Adoption of plant-based diets throughout Europe can enhance food resilience towards the Russia–Ukraine battle, Nature Food (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s43016-022-00634-4.

Offered by
Leiden College

Changing our diet would help absorb global food shocks, international study finds (2022, November 15)
retrieved 18 November 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any truthful dealing for the aim of personal study or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is offered for info functions solely.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this