Food Safety / Food Security / Research

Artificial meat? Food for thought by 2050

Leading scientists say meat grown in vats may be necessary to feed 9 billion people expected to be alive by middle of century

 

John Beddington, the UK government chief scientist, calls in his paper for urgent action to deliver new technologies. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Rex Features

Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world’s leading scientists report today.

But a major academic assessment of future global food supplies, led by John Beddington, the UK government chief scientist, suggests that even with new technologies such as genetic modification and nanotechnology, hundreds of millions of people may still go hungry owing to a combination of climate change, water shortages and increasing food consumption.

In a set of 21 papers published by the Royal Society, the scientists from many disciplines and countries say that little more land is available for food production, but add that the challenge of increasing global food supplies by as much as 70% in the next 40 years is not insurmountable.

Read more … (Guardian – UK)

The special issue includes an open access article by ILRI scientist Phil Thornton entitled ‘Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects

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