How much animal-source food can we produce while avoiding feed-food competition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Livestock directly contribute to food supply by providing essential nutrients to humans, and indirectly support
cultivation of food crops by providing manure and draft power. Livestock, however, also consume humanedible
food or graze on land suitable for cultivation of food crops. As we face feeding 9.7 billion people by
2050, preferably without expanding the amount of agricultural land, there is an increasing need to avoid
competition for land between animals and humans. We performed a review on studies that provide insight into
the amount of animal-source food (ASF) produced without feed-food competition. So called default livestock
are only fed with co-products, food-waste, crop-residues, or biomass from grazing land. Results showed, that
between 7 g and 27 g of animal source protein per person per day can be produced from default livestock.
Considering feed-food crops and feeding food-waste had an important contribution in this. Considering feedfood
crops implies that choices have to be made between different crops, based on their contribution to feed
and food production. Oil production from soy cultivation, for example, resulted in the co-product SBM. The
practice of feeding food-waste to livestock is currently prohibited but shows potential in extensively reducing
the environmental impact of livestock production. Considering feed-food crops and feeding food-waste are
examples of mitigation strategies that currently can be implemented to reduce the environmental impact of
the livestock sector. In mixed crop-livestock systems, particularly in developing countries, considering feedfood
crops and using food-waste are embedded in production system, and can, therefore, be an example. In
general a paradigm shift is needed: research should no longer focus on increasing efficiency of the animal or
the animal production chain, but on increasing efficiency of the entire food system. Although ASF produced
from default livestock, does not fulfil the current demand for ASF, about one third of the protein each person
needs can be produced without competition for land between feed and food production. Livestock, therefore,
does have an important contribution to future nutrition supply.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Pages102-102
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 20162 Sep 2016

Conference

Conference67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period29/08/162/09/16

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  • Cite this

    van Zanten, H. H. E., van Hal, O., & de Boer, I. J. M. (2016). How much animal-source food can we produce while avoiding feed-food competition. In Book of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (pp. 102-102). Wageningen Academic Publishers.