How to Feed 1.5B Extra People Without the Need to Grow More Crops

Do you need to bring an example of sustainable food to class? Curious how are we going to feed the growing population? Looking for sustainable food production companies? 


How can we feed the growing population

Animal agriculture wastes 93% of nutrients

Efficiency varies between 3% (beef) to 17% (dairy)

Animal agriculture wastes 93% of nutrients.png

Figure 1. A Sankey flow diagram of the US feed-to-food caloric flux from the three feed classes (left) into edible animal products (right). On the right, parenthetical percentages are the food-out/feed-in caloric conversion efficiencies of individual livestock categories. Caloric values are in Pcal, 1012 kcal. Overall, 1187 Pcal of feed are converted into 83 Pcal edible animal products, reflecting a weighted mean conversion efficiency of approximately 7%.

Source: Energy and protein feed-to-food conversion efficiencies in the US and potential food security gains from dietary changes, A Shepon

Much of what we feed to animals is high-quality nutrients that can be eaten by humans instead

Between 1950 and 2009, global consumption of meat more than doubled. If demand for meat continues to increase at its current rate, by 2050 we’ll be eating two thirds more meat than we do today—which would also mean emitting two thirds more greenhouse gases from meat production. If we find new ways to get the protein we currently get from meat, we can help keep these emissions down. Some alternative sources for protein include insects, microalgae, bacteria, mycoprotein, and synthetic or lab-grown meat. We also need to feed animals differently: much of what we feed farm animals is high-quality protein that humans could eat instead. New sources of animal feed will not only make more protein available for us to eat, but also reduce pressure on land use and the land footprint of agriculture.

Source: Feeding a Growing World, Breakthrough Energy Coalition

The meal is the by-product of the oil extraction process. Oil is the majority value of the seed, and the meal is considered a by-product. Meal used as a livestock feed, primarily for ruminants.

Source: Oil Crop Meals in Beef Cattle Diets, National, Sunflower Association, USDA Nutritional Database 

We can feed 10x more people if we start processing plants directly


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Extrusion technology can make tasty snacks from plants with 98% efficiency.

Extrusion technology works with ingredients as they are (no prior sterilization needed). 

Extrusion technology uses thermo-mechanical energy to cook high fiber ingredients and puff into snacks. It combines best features from Ultra-high temperature (UHT) and High-pressure processing (HPP) in one step.

Short term cooking does not affect nutrients and is energy efficient.


Example of sustainable food

Sunflower chips made in the University of Minnesota

Ingredients: Sunflower Meal, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, BBQ Seasoning (Sugar, Salt, Paprika, Spices (Including Pepper, Celery), Garlic Powder, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor (Contains Maltodextrin), Citric Acid), Non-GMO Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil, Paprika Extract (as a color), Sea Salt, Rosemary


Is it edible?

The biggest question with the food products is "does it taste good?" Customers, who got the opportunity to try samples report as follows: 



Health benefits of sustainable food

Extruded snacks contain a comparable amount of protein as animal products. If you like snacking now you can eat it all day long.

Chicken Nuggets vs Ground beef vs Sunflower Chips PLANETARIANS.png


Chips made from Sunflower meal have 3x more Protein, 2x more Fiber and 3x less Fat per serving than typical potato chips. 

PLANETARIANS  vs other chips.png

How does sustainable food help protect the environment?

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USDA reports that the world's supply of the oilcakes in 2017 is 334.82 million metric tons.
1 kg of Sunflower Meal contains  3410 cal energy (same right for other meals).
One person needs 2000 cal per day, 365 days a year.
Dividing the annual volume of meals to yearly caloric needs for one person we get 1.5B people.

Source: USDA, Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade Report, December 2017, PLANETARIANS

Isn’t it a perfect tech to feed growing population without growing extra crops?

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Aleh Manchuliantsau