Better food supplies needed for future growth
A New Zealand scientist says fuelling population growth with healthy food in the Pacific region over the coming three decades will be a real challenge.
A New Zealand scientist says finding enough healthy food to meet the needs of growing populations in the Pacific region over the next three decades will be a real challenge.
Professor Paul Moughan from Massey University's Riddet Institute says diets of the future will have to adapt as the global population grows from seven billion to 10 billion over the next 35 years.
He told Jenny Meyer about dietary demands of the future.
PAUL MOUGHAN: Over the next 20 to 30 years the world's population is going to grow quite dramatically. The estimates are from around seven billion people today to around 10 billion people by 2050. So it's predicted that unless there's some major change, that there will be very high population growth over that period of time. That's going to occur largely in Sub Saharan Africa and Asia but it will also occur in the Pacific Islands.
JENNY MEYER: And what challenges do you think that presents? I mean climate change, for one, is also an ongoing issue that really is facing people in the Pacific. How do you see nations can best cope, given these kinds of challenges of increasing population and decreasing land availability?
PM: There's going to be a need for much more food and better food. And in particular there's going to be a need for a lot more proteinacious foods to form healthy balanced diets as the population of the world grows in size. And of course that's a real challenge because that's got to occur against the backdrop of less water, less land, greater vagaries in climate, less resources in general. So we're going to have to get a lot smarter as to how we produce food, as to how we use food, we must look to greatly decreasing food wastage where a lot of food currently is produced but then lost, so decreasing wastage. And we need to just get a lot smarter as to how we produce and distribute and put foods together to form diets in the future.
JM: One of the biggest sources of protein traditionally in the Pacific region is fish of course. What are your thoughts there in terms of how perhaps island nations can secure their food source from the ocean?
PM: Well of course fish is an excellent source of protein. It's an excellent food. But world fish resources are also in decline and are being depleted. Really the Pacific nations need to be looking at sustainable fishing practices to ensure that that natural food is preserved going into the future. Because populations will grow in these countries. Greater pressures will come on in terms of the environment. And one must be ensuring that all resources in the future are well managed so that there's a sustainable supply of high quality foods.
Professor Moughan has just been picked to join a think tank in Germany in June to help tackle world hunger and malnourishment and he says he will be advocating for the South Pacific and Australasian regions.
He says the report they publish will be evidence based and help shape governmental and United Nations food policies.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: