Feed sources for livestock: recycling towards a green planet

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Feed sources for livestock: recycling towards a green planet

By feeding livestock products that we cannot or do not want to eat (e.g. grass from marginal lands or food-waste), we can transfer an inedible stream for humans into high quality food products. Livestock systems should change their focus from increasing productivity per animal towards increasing the number of people to be nourished per ha.

The livestock sector makes a crucial contribution to sustainable nutrition supply

It is often argued that the livestock sector has a major impact on the environment and that it, therefore, is better to become a vegetarian or even a vegan. Is this correct? Not necessarily. By feeding livestock products that we cannot or do not want to eat (e.g. grass from marginal lands or food-waste), we can transfer an inedible stream for humans into high quality food products. By doing so a crucial amount of protein can be produced, one third of the proteins we need, while still avoiding competition for land between feed and food crops. In this way, the livestock sector makes a crucial contribution to sustainable nutrition supply, which is in contradiction to what most people think. To accomplish this, global average consumption of animal source food, however, must reduce with about a third. Furthermore, livestock systems should change their focus from increasing productivity per animal towards increasing the number of people to be nourished per ha.