Although we are constantly reminded that we need to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, it turns out that if everyone followed that advice, there would be a pretty dire shortage of produce.
According to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, only about 55 percent of people around the world live in places with enough availability to fruits and vegetables to meet the World Health Organization recommended 400 grams (14.1 ounces) of consumption per day.
Unless food and waste issues are solved, and productivity is increased, researchers predict that by 2050, 1.5 billion more people will live in places with insufficient supply of fruits and vegetables, reported NPR.
Replacing “cheap calories” diets that leave people overweight but malnourished must be replaced by plant-based diets to keep the world’s population healthy, but more demand for fruit and vegetables is useless unless the supply exists to fulfill it. One of the solutions to provide healthy diets for everyone is to reduce the amount of land used for animal feed (currently 30 percent of land is used for that purpose), as well as for animal agriculture, to dedicate it to nutritious fruit and vegetable crops destined for human consumption. Reducing animal agriculture would also cut on greenhouse emissions and slow down deforestation.
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