The Journey of Sustainable Food Production

Extensive Land Use
to Sustain Agriculture
Ralph C. Martin, Ph.D., P.Ag.
Loblaw Chair, Sustainable Food Production
Tel: 519-824-4120, Ext 52460
Email: [email protected]
20th to 21st Century
Food Production
Sustainable Food Production
Sustaining Food Production
Uses of Farm Land
Land asked to produce 4Fs
Food, Feed, Fibre and Fuel (energy)
and Fun.
Current Food System
Over 7 billion people
1 billion have too little
1.6 billion eat too much
Wasting > 40% of food
Josette Sheeran, Exec. Dir.
UN World Food Program
People who are hungry do one of
three things:
they revolt
they migrate
or they die
And the 1.6 billion
who eat too much …
• Two-thirds of health-care costs can now be
attributed to chronic diseases associated
with unhealthy eating. 20th Century
Agriculture: the health cost. 2009, CAPI
• An ounce of prevention?
There’s Waste and Waist
The average American consumes about 3747 kcal
per day (not including junk food) compared to the
recommended 2000 to 2500 kcal per day
23 July 2008 news service
Pimental et. al.
Population, Excess
Consumption and Waste
• Total Calories Required
= # people x 2300 calories
x Consumption factor per person
x Waste factor per person
• We need 79 billion cal /d for 34,300,000 Canadians.
• If eat 1.2 x need, then must provide 94 billion cal/d
• Furthermore, with carelessness of wasting 40%,
must provide 158 billion cal/d
Plan A for 2050
• 9 - 10 billion people (30 – 40 % increase)
• In developing countries, average incomes rise,
they consume more meat and richer foods
• Thus increase food
by 70 – 100%
Plan B for 2050
• In developing countries, more and improved
education for women
goal of < 9 billion people (< 30% increase)
• In developed countries,
reduce food waste
less meat (higher quality)
more pulses
less fat, salt and sugar
(decrease food requirement here by 30%)
From Waste to Quality?
• Households in Canada spend $140/wk on food.
Jonathan Bloom in American Wasteland
estimates 25% is wasted. Others suggest 15%.
• If we assume 20% of food wasted in households,
then the cost of tossing is $28/wk.
• How much could food quality and
health improve if households used
that $28/wk, more effectively?
A New Ag/Food Question
How will we eat well in our
resilient communities…
in an period of declining oil and climate
Aspects of Eating Well
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Michael Pollan. 2007.
In Defense of Food
Avoid excess fat, salt and sugar
Health, Fellowship, Local Culture
Enough for All and Not Wasting
Nutrition, Whole Food, Vigour
Freshness, Flavour, Favourite Recipes
Food and Health
An ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure
If we invest in more healthy
food (prevention),
how much could our
federal, provincial and
municipal health-related
budgets (cure) and
business costs be reduced?
Resilient Communities
• Rich top soil, clean air and water, and healthy, local
food for all community members
• Observe the results of our actions and respond
• Profitable Food Businesses
• Honour farmers
• Council of All Beings
• Consider 7 Generations
in past and future
In long term, we can be fussy
about imports
• Real popul’n density - people/sq km farmland
Netherlands 2205
943 (losing 1% farmland/yr)
Attitude of Gratitude
Take moments to be
thankful, especially for
good food.
Appreciate what we
have, know when we
have enough and
Vision to Sustain Food
A food system based on healthy soil,
clean air and water, and regenerative
to support
profitable and resilient farming and
fishing communities and a healthy
food supply for all.
[email protected]