Believe it or not, the world’s population is expected to increase by a whopping 43 percent to over 10 billion people by 2050. Considering the food chain is already under pressure from the seven billion humans alive today, such a large number is anxiety-inducing.
The growing population begs the question: How will everyone be fed?
Current methods of food production are not sustainable. Without change, there won’t be enough food for the rapidly expanding population. At the same time, increasing production using the same techniques could cause irreversible harm to the environment.
Fortunately, some of the world’s top scientists and companies are working hard to ensure this potential problem doesn’t become a reality. However, consumers also have a part to play. With combined efforts, the following three initiatives will help feed Earth’s 10 billion people in 2050.
People all over the world are currently wary of robots taking their jobs. So, the thought of robots heading into the fields to grow the world’s food supply might not seem ideal. However, using autonomous machines to complete repetitive, tedious tasks like tilling a field frees up time for farmers to work on more critical projects.
The Small Robot Company is already developing a system of three robots that could automate much of the planting process. These automated machines do everything from geotagging plants to spraying pesticides that eliminate runoff and pollution. With more free time, farmers could focus on selecting the right crops, growing their businesses (pun intended), and increasing yield.
Eliminate Food Waste
Unfortunately, people throw away a large amount of good food. That fact, perhaps, causes one of the biggest problems with feeding the world.
Whether it rots in transit or is thrown away because it isn’t visually appealing, the United Nations estimates that a third of all food produced is wasted.
Combating this problem is possibly the simplest way to feed a growing population. Apps like Too Good To Go are aiming to become “waste warriors.” The service connects users “with delicious unsold food from a variety of shops and restaurants all over Europe.”
Creative solutions like this undoubtedly help reduce food waste. However, more action is necessary to eliminate it.
Make Sustainable Choices
If the idea of going vegan sounds crazy, that’s okay. While cutting out meat is an impactful way to eat more sustainably, it isn’t the only option. Shoppers can also buy foods that advertise sustainable production practices or choose an item with a smaller carbon footprint.
Overall, making smart decisions like these can decrease the strain that food production puts on the environment and help farmers grow more crops.
Furthermore, companies have an important role in the global feeding effort. They must use wise production methods that conserve resources while simultaneously maximizing yield. These practices may require government intervention if changes do not become apparent within the next decade.
Overall, to feed the world in 2050, everyone will need to do their part. Solving this serious problem will require input from the brightest minds in every industry. Farmers, engineers, scientists, and consumers must work together to share and protect the resources necessary to produce enough food so that everyone has enough to eat.