Animal Agriculture

Ten-a-day findings show a disconnect between what we are eating and what we are producing

The new ten-a-day findings show a disconnect between what we are told the public should be eating and the food we are producing, according to Tom Kuehnel, Campaigns Officer at The Vegan Society.

A new study has shown that 400g of fruit and vegetables a day might not be enough to offer the maximum protection against heart disease, cancer and early death. Scientists discovered that eating 800g of fruit and vegetables daily – double the government’s recommendations – may have large health benefits.

But the findings flag a underlying problem with our agriculture, Kuehnel believes, saying “the government should encourage more farmers to take up fruit, vegetable and other protein crop growing in the UK, and provide support for growers that are producing food for human, as opposed to prioritising animal farming as we currently do”.

With the world’s population constantly increasing, food and land security are becoming major issues.

Studies indicate that a varied vegan diet requires only about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets, whereas 3.5 billion humans could live off the food currently fed to farmed animals.

For every 100 calories fed to animals, only 17-30 calories are produced by them in return, wasting agricultural land by obtaining a small fraction of its potential calorific value.

Animal farming is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport in the world combined, and moving towards a plant-based diet would contribute to a healthier UK population.

Grow Green, a report published in 2015 by The Vegan Society, detailed why and how farmers should transition from farming animals to plant protein agriculture.

It has been distributed to hundreds of people and policy-makers who are sympathetic to the proposals. The charity is asking their members and supporters to share the report with their MPs to encourage vegan friendly policy change.

1 Response

  1. Dan

    Good article but I have a hard time believing that 3.5 billion could be fed from the food being fed to livestock. Animals raised for human consumption are primarly given a corn based diet in the west partialy due to the fact that it is efficient given to that is cheap, available and the GMO corn gives a very high yield compared to even 20 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe we need more vegetables and fruits in our diet, but I think that a greater issue is the deforestization in mass quantity in an attempt to meet demand for livestock and livestock feed especially in the big forests. It is not a fair comparison to say you can grow tomatos and carrots in the same quantity that corn is produced and as with everything demand is the driver for what is planted around the world. Unless we are seriously proposing a corn based diet which is not a fruit or vegetable then demand is the only thing that will shift what is being produced for those 3.5 billion. Demand could be shifted given subsidies to the producer, but most governments won’t shell out money for that given the worlds current economic state. But, I am no economist so what do I know.

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