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Global eats: sustainable?

(article, Culinate staff)

The CGIAR, a international research alliance, recently released a report on the future of the planet's food. Titled '"Achieving the report "recommends essential changes in the way we think about farming, food and equitable access to it, and the way these things affect climate change." The New York Times continues its assessment:

bq. It is tempting to assume that expanding agricultural acreage and using new technology, like genetically engineered crops, will somehow save the day. The report says that efficiency and sustainability will also require fundamental changes in how we grow and consume food: reducing waste in production and distribution and finding ways to farm that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and other “negative environmental impacts of agriculture,” like soil loss and water pollution. The report also calls for better dietary habits in wealthy countries, which have a disproportionately and unsustainably high calorie intake, and targeted aid to populations whose farming is most at risk. 

The BBC agreed; as environmental reporter Richard Black noted, "Farming is probably responsible for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, although the figure is hard to pin down as a large proportion comes from land clearance, for which emissions are notoriously difficult to measure."

Meanwhile, pro-vegan activist James McWilliams wants the planet to shed meat production entirely, arguing in the New York Times that all kinds of meat production are harmful to the environment.