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Study Finds Livestock Production Improves Global Food Security

Thursday, September 21, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The Meat Institute actively shared a new study published in Global Food Security, which found animals primarily consume foods not fit for human consumption and meat production requires less cereals than generally reported. The study's authors found that livestock often use large areas of pastures where nothing else could be produced, placing less burden on the human food supply than commonly thought. Contrary to claims that suggest raising livestock is resource-intensive and inefficient, the study concluded that an average of 3 kg of cereals are needed to produce 1 kg of meat - a finding that challenges the assertion that 6-20 kg of feed is required to produce 1 kg of meat. The study determined that 86 percent of livestock feed, which includes residues and byproducts, is not suitable for human consumption and, if not consumed by livestock, could burden the environment.

In addition, the authors noted the livestock production system contributes directly to global food security because animals turn co-products into edible goods, contribute to crop productivity and turn edible crops into highly nutritious, protein-rich food. Animal food sources, the study emphasized, make a vital contribution to global nutrition and are excellent sources of macro- and micronutrients.

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