Even with millions around the world facing the threat of famine or malnutrition, the production of feed for livestock and fish is tying up limited natural resources that could be used to produce more food for people. New research from Aalto University, shows how changing the type of feed for livestock and fish could maintain production while making more food available for people. These relatively simple changes would increase the global food supply.
Worldwide approximately a third of cereal crop production is being used as animal feed, and about a quarter of captured fish aren’t used to feed people. Matti Kummu, an associate professor of global water and food issues at Aalto University, led a team of researchers that investigated the potential of using crop residues and food by-products, (eg. hemp, we suggest), in livestock and aquaculture production to free up the human-usable material to feed people. The most common protein sources in livestock nutrition are currently soybean meal, canola meal, or fish meal. These traditional sources are costly and no longer viable, necessitating the need for alternative, sustainable protein sources for animal feeds.
Industrial hemp feed for livestock could well be part of the solution. But meanwhile, we wait… as regulators maintain their position that they need more evidence showing hemp is safe for animal consumption — and for the humans who eat animal products.