Dr. Pat Brown powerpoint - World Preservation Foundation

The REAL population bomb…
Human population: 6.9 Billion
Estimated total human biomass: 50 kg * 6.9 Billion = 345 million metric tons
•Livestock account for about 20 percent of the total
terrestrial animal biomass.
•30 percent of the entire land surface of Earth is
devoted to animal farming..
UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
Land converted to pasture and rangeland
Land converted for crop cultivation
Most crops in the developed world are used to feed animals
156 billion metric tons of C released due to land-use
conversion for agriculture, mostly for animal farming. (RA
Houghton, 2003)
About 9 billion metric tons of C were released by burning
fossil fuels this year (US Dept of Energy)
The historical land-use change is the GHG equivalent to 17
years worth of fossil fuel emissions.
Corollary: A tremendous opportunity for rapid mitigation of
GHG emissions - Reversing historic losses of forest,
savannah, scrubland and prairie would yield immediate
benefits by turning CO2 back into biomass.
Seasonal fluctuations -sharp decreases every year
but not quite enough to match the increases
Current world production of soybeans, corn, wheat and
rice contains more protein and calories than the human
population consumes annually
(130% of the protein consumption and more than 200%
of dietary requirement for protein).
Replacing meat with plant-derived sources of protein could
reduce the land area required to feed the human population
by more than 80% and recover about 25% of the entire
above water surface of the Earth for restoration or solar
energy capture.
Absolutely no requirement for animal products in a
healthy, nutritious diet
Economic benefits:
No change in
•Eliminating animal farming would reduce the cost of
meeting greenhouse gas stabilization target by more than
80% (that’s tens of trillions of dollars…) compared to
alternative strategies. Smaller reductions would produce
correspondingly smaller but still significant savings.
(Stehfest, et al. Climatic Change 2009)
Can we realistically hope to reduce consumption
of meat and dairy products?
Smoking rate in the US has decreased more than 50% in 40 year
In California rate now less than 13%
(Down 40% in last decade alone).
Economic incentives can work
Plants can provide the nutritional equivalent of meat at less
than 5% the cost
The most popular meat in the
-ground beef sales $30B/year
-wholesale price ~$1.50/lb
-nutritionally matched soy-grain
combos ~ $0.07
Demand for meat,
dairy and fast food is
highly sensitive to
=> Demand will shift to
alternatives that
satisfy the same need
at a cheaper prices.
Adjust policy to make the cost of meat and milk reflect the
true cost that either we or our children will have to pay to fix
the damage that animal farming does.
This is a huge opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs
In 1965, more than 40% of adults in the US were smokers.
Currently available, inexpensive plant-based alternatives
do a poor job of mimicking the real thing (and aren’t
actually so cheap).
$1.50/lb-ground beef eq
Available plant-based
alternatives that more
successfully (but still
inadequately) mimic the real
thing are MORE expensive
than meat and marketed to
a small niche market.
Business Opportunity
There is a huge window of opportunity for investors and
entrepreneurial food producers to develop mass-marketable,
affordable, nutritious plant-based foods products that can
compete successfully with established meat and dairy
products based on their value and taste.
Potential scale:
Just 1% of the wholesale market for meat and dairy
ingredients in the US alone is $1.5 billion/yr company.
McDonalds alone had $23B in revenue and >$4B in profit
last year.