Monthly Archives: June 2011

How Much Food will the World Need in 2050?

Terry D. Etherton

Much has been written by others and myself about the need to feed a growing World population that will increase to between 9 and 10 billion individuals by 2050 (based on estimates from the Population Estimates and Projections Section of the UN). Making projections about the impact of population growth on food production raises the question of just how much food will be required to feed 10 billion people?  While the question is straightforward, developing these estimates is remarkably challenging.  The vast majority of numbers are derived from food disappearance data, that is food for human consumption that is produced is assumed to “disappear” via consumption.  This is problematic, in part, because it has been estimated that 30 to 40% of food in developed and developing countries is wasted (Godfray et al., 2010).  This wastage spans the spectrum of the food system from production to plate waste.

The question emerges, then, of whether there is more accurate approach for estimating projected food needs in 2050?  Continue reading How Much Food will the World Need in 2050?