To all the inhabitants of the Earth could go on a balanced diet, recommended by the Ministry of agriculture, U.S. (USDA), will need about a billion hectares of additional farmland is approximately one Canada and such a vast unoccupied territory on the planet do not.
This is stated in an article in the journal PLoS ONE.
Moreover, if the countries of the Western hemisphere will be able to release part of the land, and in the East the deficit will be, the authors of the material.
Now world agriculture uses about 38 percent of the total land area. The remaining 62 percent either occupy the city and still preserved natural landscapes, or they are unsuitable for agriculture. At the same time, the question of increasing agricultural land becomes more acute, according to the Food and agriculture organization of the UN, by 2050 around the world will need to produce 70 percent more food than now.
Environmentalists from the canadian University of Guelph under the supervision of Professor Madhura Anand (Madhur Anand) suggested that one way of solving the problem may be the standardization of the diets in the world. Diet, compiled by the USDA, according to the authors of the study, made up of a variety of products, balanced, low-calorie and recommends that you consume low amount of saturated fat.
She is made taking into account age, sex and physiological status of the person. It includes grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products, fish, oil. In the United States, many people do not adhere to this diet, they consume much more meat and grain, few vegetables than recommended by USDA.
Now we know that if the entire population of the planet will not be able to eat the same as US residents, the world is not enough land to grow enough grain and livestock. But it is unclear if it will work to transplant all the inhabitants of the Earth to a healthy and balanced diet the USDA. The study authors considered the required amount of agricultural land required that we had enough different products at the rate of 2 thousand calories per day per person (for comparison, in the developed countries on average consume 3.4 thousand calories a day). The scientists also assessed which countries would be able to release part of the land, and how, conversely, will have to increase their number.
The results were disappointing: To all the inhabitants of the planet could go to the diet recommended by the USDA, we need more gigacenter agricultural land. It is about territory of Canada, and such amount of land on Earth.
Used and necessary to move on a diet by the USDA agricultural lands. Blue indicates countries that can exempt a portion of land, green, yellow and red — countries that will miss the earth.
If you look at the countries in the most advantageous position would be the inhabitants of the Western hemisphere, which could release part of the agricultural land. In particular, the residents of the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Australia, who eat excessive compared to the recommendations, the amount of meat. If they switched to a balanced diet would be vacant part of the land now used for grazing and for growing grains, including animal feed. At the same time in the Eastern hemisphere of the earth will not be enough. In particular, Africans need more land than any other continent. Here lives a large part of the 12 percent of the world population who are malnourished. A lot of land will be necessary for the EU to increase the consumption of dairy products and fruit. The main shortage of land, according to the calculations of canadian scientists, will be in Mozambique, India and Saudi Arabia.
According to the researchers, in the future when drafting recommendations to government organizations, it would be good to be guided not only use diet for health, but also to assess the capability of a global land use and equitable distribution of resources. “We need to assess the diet not only from the point of view of health of each person, but also the health of the ecosystem as a whole,” says Anand.