Feeding animals

Feeding animals to feed men is an expensive way to produce food. In the world about ¼ of arable lands are employed to produce fodder, soy and cereals and ¼ of these cereals are employed in industrial breeding farms to feed livestock: it’s an expensive energy cost which adds to the economic cost, all the more so since the same lands could be used to produce food that the world’s undernourished population needs. It’s been estimated, infact, that if all cereals produced evey year were shared among the world population, each person would receive much more food than is necessary for survival: reality, though, is very different, infact, on one side food consumption in developed countries is sometimes excessive, and on the other side, 2 billion people suffer chronic denutrition and 18 million people die for famine-related diseases. We feed and raise animals to eat them (mainly cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry) as a balanced diet requires a certain amount of proteins and meat is one of its main sources together with other livestock products as milk, cheese and eggs. In developed countries is consumed a lot of meat both because population incomes have increased and allow to buy meat in great quantities and because meat costs less: as it’s produced partially or totally with an industrial system this type of food has become a good available for many and isn’t anymore a luxury good. In recent years, meat consumption is on the rise also in developing countries: in China, for example, more and more people start to earn enough to buy meat. This means that over time, as consumption increases, more and more lands and water will be required to enhance animal production.

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