Raising the Steaks: How One City in the Netherlands Wants to Feed the World

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Raising the Steaks: How One City in the Netherlands Wants to Feed the World


Stretched along a river in the heart of the Netherlands, the town of
Wageningen is not postcard-pretty.


It doesn’t have Amsterdam’s historic canals or Rotterdam’s bold modern
architecture. Wageningen’s only claim to fame, in fact, is its university,
ranked as the world’s top agricultural research hub. Much of the
institution focuses on how to feed humanity in the coming decades, and the
work is badly needed: By 2050, Earth, now home to about 7.5 billion people,
may have nearly 2 billion more.


At the top of research priorities in Wageningen is protein, or rather, how
to find more of it — and we’ll need to look beyond meat-based diets.
Obtaining 1 pound of animal protein uses about 7.5 pounds of plant
proteins, which are consumed by the animal as it grows. About 80 percent of
agricultural land is already used for grain that’s fed to livestock. The
calculus is simple: If we don’t change the way we eat, and quickly, there
won’t be enough protein for our expanding population.

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