Hunger and malnourishment has played its part in human history since the beginning of time. As rich countries indulge and developing countries struggle to survive, the world continues a cycle that may put us all at serious risk.
Droughts in the United States and Russia have driven up corn and wheat costs by 50 percent. Climate change continues to make weather unpredictable and unstable for crop production. According to a recent study, over 40 percent of American food goes to waste, a statistic that has increased 50 percent since 1974. All of these factors contribute to current food insecurity issues.
The most important factor in maintaining food security is our ever growing population and its high demand for water. Water is not only used for general consumption, in fact most of the water in the world is used to grow and produce food. It is predicted that the earth will have about nine billion people by the year 2050 and the continuous use of the current system of food production and consumption will leave the globe unable to sustain or support a 70 percent increase in food demands over the next 40 years.
Humans obtain about 20 percent of their protein from meat products, but according to research done by water scientists, animal-product consumption will need to drop to only 5 percent to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050. Animal protein diets consume five to ten times more water than a vegetarian diet. Furthermore, one third of the land is used to grow crops to feed animals . By greatly reducing our dependability on meat consumption and adopting a vegetarian diet, we will be able increase water availability and increase our ability to grow more food.
Whether or not the world will be able to collectively change their eating habits to save the worlds water sources is questionable, however, it is clear that the food system we currently have must be transformed before it is too late.