🌾 Changes to animal feed production could provide food for a billion people
By allowing animals to eat harvest residues and by-products of food production instead of grain, many more people can have access to food.
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About a third of the world's grain production and a quarter of all fish caught are used today as animal feed. This is grain that could feed many people if only we implemented some changes in the way we produce animal feed, a research group believes.
"These changes would significantly increase the global food supply, providing calories to up to 13 percent more people without requiring any increase in natural resource use or any major dietary changes," says Max Troell, associate professor at Stockholm University and member of the research group.
The researchers analyzed the entire flow of food and feed, including by-products and residues, through the global food production system. The analysis then helped the researchers discover ways to replace today's feed with products that are instead based on by-products from the food system such as sugar beet or citrus pulp.
According to the researchers, this could result in 10-26 percent of the total grain production and 17 million tons of fish going from being used as animal feed to becoming human food. This means that the gains in the food supply will be 6–13 percent in terms of calorie content and 9–15 percent in terms of protein content.
"It may not sound like much, but it is food for up to a billion people," says Vilma Sandström, researcher at Aalto University and lead author of the study.
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