Making sure there’s enough and sustainable supply of food for the continuously increasing population is a huge challenge for governments around the world. There are numerous issues affecting food security, food production, food consumption and providing proper nutrition; all which requires immediate and sustainable solutions.
Researchers estimate that by 2050, the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, topping the current statistics with an additional 34%. It follows therefore that food production should also increase significantly to feed a larger population. However, factors essential to food production like land, water and energy have tendencies to deplete if nor provided with sustainable solutions/
Nutrition is another obstacles that needs to be hurdled is to provide the growing population with a wide range of nutritious diet that can be obtained from nutrient-packed sustainable food products. Moreover, sustainable food production is also a matter of providing balanced amount of energy-giving food The food products should also be able to provide individuals enough supply of balanced nutrients to promote good health.
What Exactly is Sustainable Food Production?
Sustainable food production refers to ways of producing food products that uses systems and processes designed to conserve natural resources and non-renewable energy, As such, a sustainable food production is one that does not contribute to air, land and water pollution.
Ideally, a sustainable food production plant is safe for workers and customers as well as economically efficient for the community.
More importantly, a sustainable food production system does not apply the carbon-trade off approach because sustainability must happen from start to finish and not as an after thought.
Examples of Actions that Work Toward the Development of Sustainable Food Production
While there are technologies and broader knowledge about food production, the European Commission wants food companies to include the following actions in the development of their food production sustainability goals:
Make sure to optimize only agricultural land for food production by efficiently utilizing natural resources;
Do not use chemically formulated pesticides and fertilizers as their runoffs will contaminate waterways and soils;
Plan and develop food manufacturing sites that allow for efficient water and energy use.
Avoid soil loss by returning organic matter into soil. During construction of food manufacturing plants or factories, make certain crane operations are provided with a crane mat to protect the soil from compaction, salinization or contamination,
Help protect and preserve marine resources, by preventing accumulation of non-biodegradable wastes in coastal areas.
Minimize food wastes by using technical innovations that use functional packaging to reduce spoilage; or consider product reformulation to lengthen the shelf life of a food item.