Billions of animals suffer in factory farming, nearly a billion people are hungry and our resource base and environment are being eroded faster than ever. It’s a bleak picture, with one basic conclusion - our current food system is failing and we need an urgent rethink.
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, provides hope in his new visionary briefing on a common sense approach to feeding the world as we move towards the possibility of 9 billion people by 2050.
Our current food system is hugely wasteful and feeding grain to farm animals puts them in direct competition with people for food.
- Approximately one third of the world’s cereal harvest is fed to farm animals. If this were fed to people, it could feed 3 billion people.
- Approximately one third of the world’s landed fish catch never reaches a human mouth, much of it diverted to feed farmed fish, pigs or poultry.
- Approximately one third of food produced globally is lost or wasted. In the EU, we waste up to half our food. That’s enough to satisfy the hunger of the worlds hungry many times over.
A common-sense approach to farming and food production could revolutionize our food system to become more effective at making food accessible and available to people. This means that farm animals must be kept in ways that add to the world’s food supply, rather than competing with people for food and resources.
Factory farms are food factories in reverse; they waste it, not make it. We must be more effective at putting food in people’s mouths by reducing food losses and wastes; by getting farm animals off grain and fishmeal and feeding them on grass, forage and food wastes; by returning to mixed farming which restores soils and by avoiding the over-consumption of meat and dairy.
Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming.