Guest Blog Post: Will We Have ENOUGH to Feed the World in 2050?

enough

Author: Becky Fouard, Elanco Corporate Communications

Real conversation:

Student, in a concerned voice: “What is that? Are you going to eat it?”

Teacher: “Calm down, it is just cauliflower.

Student: “What is that?

Teacher: “Wait, have you never seen cauliflower before? It’s a vegetable; please tell me you are joking.”  

ElancoThree years ago my husband and I moved from Kansas to the “big city” of Indianapolis for my new job with Elanco Animal Health.

With my shift in careers came my husband’s new role as a teacher at an inner-city high school, with 3,600 students from all different backgrounds. I will never forget the day my husband came home and shared with me that he had lunch with his students that day and none of them had ever seen cauliflower before.

It blew his mind, as well as mine! When I asked “What do they normally eat,” his response was “If it’s not the school lunch, then it is usually chips, pop and maybe a sandwich of some kind.”

It is easy for food insecurity to be “invisible” to those of us who might not see it face-to-face every day. Making these realities visible, such as the fact that 1 out of every 3 people do not receive the nutrition their body needs, is one of the goals of the Elanco ENOUGHTM movement.

ENOUGH was launched to spread the facts of what it will take to create a food-secure world. Here are a few facts facing us today:

  • 1-6planetsBy 2050 there will be 9.7 billion people
    • 6 billion of those people will be added to the middle class
  • We will need 60% more meat, milk and eggs than what we are producing today
  • We must produce more with less
    • We currently use 1.6 planets in one year, that means by August we will have used up all the resources the earth can reproduce in one year
  • Constant animal health challenges – 20% of animals are lost to disease (60M tons of meat and 150M tons of milk)

So what? What can you personally do with this information? I asked myself the same question when I first joined Elanco and got to participate in this advocacy program we launched.

First off, we must understand the solutions to combat these realities. Experts from across the globe believe that 70% of the solution is innovation (whether that is animal breeding for better genetics, management practices, etc.).

The other solutions identified are consumer choice, quality nutrition and access to much needed food. You can learn more about each of these solutions by clicking on the image below.

enoughlearn

Once we have discovered what it will take to feed the growing population, then we should ask ourselves…What can I personally do?

For my husband, he has focused on the nutrition piece. With his students he interacts with on a daily basis he has made it a personal task to communicate the importance of fueling your body with the nutrients it needs. One area specifically he stresses is the importance of animal-based protein for youth in order for them to excel cognitively and physically as they are developing.

My contribution has been focused on telling the story of the farmer, and how farming isn’t the same today as it was 30 years ago…and that is a GOOD thing.

What might look like new scary innovation to a consumer is really decades of advancement to allow the farmer to do an even better job at producing safe, affordable and healthy food. What farmers want today is no different than what they wanted decades ago…to take good care of their animals and produce safe and nutritious product.

I encourage you to step up, join the conversation around what it will take to feed the 9.6 billion people who will be on this planet by 2050.

Check out the ENOUGH movement at www.enoughmovement.com and identify what talents/passion you have to bring to the table in this critical fight to create a food-secure world.