Americans ate an average of 1,999 calories per day in 1975. That’s according to the USDA, which released updated data this month that says we’re now up to 2,481.
Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions—not simply by ways of the methane emitted by cattle, but through the deforestation of land necessary to grow the feed for the animals, and the actual process of growing that feed. Barring a radical cultural shift away from such abundance or a re-conception of what we consider to be food, this growth does not seem to be environmentally sustainable in any humane way. Gains made by the common approaches to environmental consciousness (organic farming, local sourcing, et cetera) seem to be chipping at the periphery of the problem.
I don’t have a great solution, but I also don’t want to end on that note, so here’s a more upbeat look at the future of protein we did recently: