Feeding the world’s human population, which is growing daily, is putting an increasingly greater pressure on nature, particularly because an increasing number of people are accepting the so-called western style of food, which is unsustainable and depends on several types of monocultures. It is an even greater challenge to maintain this pace of food production, without having an irreversible impact on nature.
Everything we eat, everything we use in our diet, comes from nature. The global population, which has exceeded 7 billion, is growing by 83 million people every year. It is expected that by the end of this decade as many as 1.4 million people will be part of the global middle class, thus significantly increasing the demand for food. The process of feeding this population has a direct impact on all processes for protection of the environment and natural resources.
Also, in addition to feeding the world, food production is one of the biggest industries. It is believed that one in three employees in the world is part of the food industry, particularly farming. Some of the major employers today are big farms and fisheries.
In the last few years new technologies and modern machinery have achieved huge results and the number of hungry people, although still big, has been on the decline for decades. However, the other side of farming has to be pointed out. Farming is the main reason behind deforestation in the world and 80% of the global loss of forests annually is due to the expansion of farming land.
Less than 3% of the total quantity of water on Earth is freshwater and only a fraction of this water is accessible for use. Out of this small portion of water, as many as 70% is used in agriculture and food production. This means that the bigger the need for food, the less accessible water for everyone. However, the food industry and agriculture are not the only ones to blame. In the global economy, demand dictates expenses. This means that each of us is somewhat responsible for the situation.
We are aware that each individual can contribute a little for environmental protection. There are constant recommendations for recycling and not using plastic. Yet food is the easiest way in which we can contribute to the preservation of the planet’s health.
The food we choose to eat can have a direct impact on the environment and in this way we can help nature. Our diet depends on our personal choice, region, tradition, culture and finances. People want to eat the food they like. But with just a little bit of effort and attention we can make a significant change. If we eat healthy, with local produce, if we use produce seasonally and if we know where it comes from, we will be saving nature with our diets.