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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL LAND MANAGEMENT TO OPTIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION AT FARM AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: Sustainability, challenges and innovations

Authors
item Wu, Guoyao -
item Fanzo, Jessica -
item Miller, Dennis -
item Pingali, Prabhu -
item Post, Mark -
item Steiner, Jean
item Thalacker-Mercer, Anna -

Submitted to: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 7, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 843 million people worldwide are hungry and a greater number suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Approximately one billion people have inadequate protein intake. The challenge of preventing hunger and malnutrition will become even greater as the global population grows from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050. With increases in income, population, and demand for more nutrient-dense foods, global meat production is projected to increase by 192 million tons per year during the next 35 years. These changes in population and dietary practices will lead to a tremendous rise in the demand for food protein, especially animal-source protein. Consuming the required amounts of protein is fundamental to human growth and health. Protein needs can be met through intakes of animal and plant-source foods. Increased consumption of food proteins is associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and overutilization of water. Consequently, concerns exist regarding impacts of agricultural production, processing and distribution of food protein on the environment, ecosystem, and sustainability. To address these challenging issues, The New York Academy of Science convened, on December 12, 2013, a conference on “The Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability,” to explore sustainable protein innovations in food science and programming that are aimed at producing the required quality and quantity of protein through improved supply chains worldwide. The presentations and discussions from invited speakers are summarized in this meeting report.

Technical Abstract: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 843 million people worldwide are hungry and a greater number suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Approximately one billion people have inadequate protein intake. The challenge of preventing hunger and malnutrition will become even greater as the global population grows from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050. With increases in income, population, and demand for more nutrient-dense foods, global meat production is projected to increase by 192 million tons per year during the next 35 years. These changes in population and dietary practices will lead to a tremendous rise in the demand for food protein, especially animal-source protein. Consuming the required amounts of protein is fundamental to human growth and health. Protein needs can be met through intakes of animal and plant-source foods. Increased consumption of food proteins is associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and overutilization of water. Consequently, concerns exist regarding impacts of agricultural production, processing and distribution of food protein on the environment, ecosystem, and sustainability. To address these challenging issues, The New York Academy of Science convened, on December 12, 2013, a conference on “The Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability,” to explore sustainable protein innovations in food science and programming that are aimed at producing the required quality and quantity of protein through improved supply chains worldwide. The presentations and discussions from invited speakers are summarized in this meeting report.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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