Meat production and consumption In the U.S., the average person consumes approximately 247 pounds of meat per year In India, meat consumption is about 4.5 pounds per person per year
Many more people can be fed with an almost all vegetarian diet. 16 pounds of feed are used to produce 1 pound of beef 7 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of pork 67% of the US grain consumption is for livestock only 3% used in India Eggs are a very efficient animal food: 3 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of eggs and only 5,000 Kcal of energy (pork requires about 15,000 Kcal per pound)
Harvesting wildlife could only feed a small fraction of the earth's existing population. In the last decade, the world's fish catch has leveled off as many species have been over- fished and are now scarce. Only two pounds of feed needed per pound of fish with aquaculture.
Where does our food come from? SOILS and the OCEANS/RIVERS are the resources used to produce food. The vast majority of our food comes from the soil
is a combination of: rock and mineral fragments organisms (such as plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, etc.) organic matter water and air Soils are a complex part of the ecosystem and contain layers with varying physical, chemical and biological properties. Soil organisms
An example of a cross section of a soil showing a soil profile that includes possible soil horizons. Actual soil profiles will vary in the number and type of horizons that are present.
To increase crop production, we must either: increase the amount of land used for crops or increase the production of the soil
Globally, approximately 4.5 billion hectares (~10 billion ac) of land are used to produce food The land area harvested for grain increased by 20% from 1950 to the 1980's but has not changed since then. For every new area of land put under cultivation, an equivalent area is removed.
World Grain Production may have peaked in 1990. Grain production per person has decreased from a high in 1984 because of increased population growth.
Most increase in crop production has come from increases in crop yield per area of land. Since 1950, grain yields have increased from 1 metric ton per hectare to 2.6 metric tons per hectare (as of 1994).
Intensive, mechanized farming using specially bred hybrids fertilizers pesticides and irrigation have resulted in large increases in crop production per area of land. Genetically modified crops have been used to increase productivity further.
From 1967 to 1988 irrigated land in Kansas increased by 62%
What are some of the effects of very intensive agriculture? Large areas of the world now have ecosystems that are monocultures. These are: less stable less resistant to disease and remove many nutrients when harvested Ecosystems have been changed
Over 17% of the earth's surface that has soil has been degraded by human activities in the last 50 years Soils have been lost or damaged Water resources are being depleted
Soil Damage has been caused by: poor agricultural practices overgrazing pollution land development poor forestry practices