Washington: Turns out, if everyone on the planet wanted to eat a healthy diet, there wouldn’t be enough fruits and vegetables to meet the demand. As a part of a recent study, researchers compared global agricultural production with nutritionists’ consumption recommendations and found a drastic mismatch. Evan Fraser, the co-author of the study, said, ‘We simply can’t all adopt a healthy diet under the current global agriculture system. Results show that the global system currently overproduces grains, fats, and sugars, while production of fruits and vegetables and, to a smaller degree, protein is not sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the current population.” He said that developed countries have subsidized grain and corn production for decades in order to become self-sufficient and to establish global leadership in their production.
These countries have also spent far more money on research and innovation for these crops than for fruits and vegetables. Krishna KC, the co-author of the study, said, “Also fat, sugar, and salt are tasty and are what we humans crave, so we have a real hunger for these foods. All of these factors combined have resulted in a world system that is really overproducing these types of foods.”
The researchers also found that shifting production to match nutritional dietary guidelines would require 50 million fewer hectares of arable land because fruits and vegetables take less land to grow than grain, sugar and fat. Feeding the next generation is one of the most pressing challenges facing the 21st century. For a growing population, our calculations suggest that the only way to eat a nutritionally balanced diet, save land and reduce greenhouse gas emission is to consume and produce more fruits and vegetables as well as transition to diets higher in plant-based protein.