The Earth 2050

21 Feb

According to a report out of Washington, DC, earth will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as it has in the past 8,000. The director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University, John Casterline, said the planet’s swelling population will stretch resources well beyond existing abilities.

Specifically, the United Nations predicts that this year the earth’s population will rise to 7 billion. And, by 2050, the population is likely to be about 9 billion, with much of the new population arising in Africa and Southern Asia. Consequently, population experts are calling for more finding for family planning to help control population growth, especially in developing nations.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years — tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations — and add more strain to global food supplies.

People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said.

It takes around seven pounds (3.4 kilograms) of grain to produce a pound of meat, and around three to four pounds of grain to produce a pound of cheese or eggs, experts told AFP.

“More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet,” Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.

Population experts, meanwhile, called for more funding for family planning programs to help control the growth in the number of humans, especially in developing nations.

“For 20 years, there’s been very little investment in family planning, but there’s a return of interest now, partly because of the environmental factors like global warming and food prices,” said Bongaarts.

“We want to minimize population growth, and the only viable way to do that is through more effective family planning,” said Casterline.

Source http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110220/ts_afp/scienceuspopulationfood

In a related story…
The extreme freezing temperatures that hit swept across the country over the last few weeks may cause a huge increase in food prices over the coming months.

Farmers across Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States have been hit with gigantic crop losses. An estimated 80 to 100% of Northern Mexico’s Food Crops have been destroyed by cold weather.

Mexico supplies a considerable amount of our crop vegetables and this loss will defiantly have an impact on prices. Sysco, one of the largest grocery suppliers in the country, is already having a hard time keeping up with demand and has issued a force majeure telling its buyers that price increases are on the way.

To make matters worse, Florida which is also a major grower of these types of crops had huge losses due to the extreme weather last month. Up until a couple weeks ago Florida was actually importing much of its supply from Mexico.

Watch for a spike in things like tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, squash, asparagus and peppers.

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