Part Three of The Current
Food Game Changer - Navin Ramankutty
We started this segment with the sound of agriculture in some parts of the world - not a tractor seeding a field or a combine harvesting grain, but a bulldozer razing rainforest to clear land for crops or pasture. Converting more of the earth into farmland has been one answer to the problem of food security. The famine in Somalia shows how acute the problem has become. We aired a clip from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking last month.
The world is racing towards a remarkable milestone. The United Nations projects the global population will reach seven billion by the end of this month. Seven billion people who need to be fed at a time when there are already a billion people who don't get enough to eat. Not surprisingly, farmers, policymakers, and the wider agricultural industry have become preoccupied with increasing food production. And by mid- century the population is expected to balloon to 9 billion.
So if you can increase food production and decrease agriculture's environmental impact and keep food prices from skyrocketing that could be a real game changer. An international team of researchers has drawn up a plan it believes could do just that. The researchers discuss their work in the current issue of the journal Nature in an article called Solutions for a Cultivated Planet. One of the team leaders is Navin Ramankutty, an associate professor of geography at McGill University and the Canada Research Chair in Land-Use and Land-Cover Change. And as part of our project, Game Changer, Navin Ramankutty joined us from Montreal.
Last Word - Vegan Myths
We've been talking about growing more food on the world's farms. If the only concern is calories per acre, raising animals may not be the most efficient use of land.
Still, if you're kind of done with vegetarians extolling life without meat, we've got something that may or may not help ... a couple of vegetarians singing about it! The song is called: Vegan Myths Debunked.
Other segments from today's show: