Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability
An expert committee under the STS Program, in collaboration with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), completed a report that identifies research priorities to sustainably meet expected increase in global demand for animal protein. The final report can be accessed for free at the National Academies Press website. A News release from the National Academies can be found here.
Contact Information Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) The National Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 E-mail: Sustainability@nas.edu
Be sure to check out the Science Unscrambled video below, where Dr. Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Chair of the report’s authoring committee, explores the main themes in the report.
Addressing the economic and environmental sustainability challenge of global food security requires an adequate, nutritious food supply produced and distributed cost effectively while improving efficiency across the entire food production system. Recognizing this challenge and the increasing global demand for animal products, a committee of eminent experts will conduct a study and prepare a report that will identify critical research and development (R&D), technologies, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. Specifically, the report will identify the most important needs for future research in this area, including: assessing global demand for products of food animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluating how climate change and limited natural resources may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems, including typical conventional, alternative and evolving animal production systems in the U.S. and internationally; identifying factors that may impact ability of the U.S. to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and adoption of new knowledge, information and technologies; identifying the needs for human capital development, technology transfer and information systems for emerging and evolving animal production systems in developing countries, including the resources needed to develop and disseminate this knowledge and technologies; and describing the evolution of sustainable animal production systems relevant to production and production efficiency metrics in the U.S. and in developing countries.
Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015) By 2050 the world's population is projected to grow by one-third, reaching between 9 and 10 billion. With globalization and expected growth in global affluence, a substantial increase in per capita meat, dairy, and fish consumption is also anticipated. The demand for calories from animal products will nearly double, highlighting the critical importance of the world's animal agriculture system. Meeting the nutritional needs of this population and its demand for animal products will require a significant investment of resources as well as policy changes that are supportive of agricultural production. Ensuring sustainable agricultural growth will be essential to addressing this global challenge to food security. This report identifies areas of research and development, technology, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. The report assesses the global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluates how climate change and natural resource constraints may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems; and identifies factors that may impact the ability of the United States to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies.
The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, National Pork Board, Tyson Foods, Inc., Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.