Is it OK to keep eating meat? Or even milk, cheese and eggs? It’s almost guaranteed that this topic will come up whenever dinner table conversation turns to sustainability.
Livestock production has been implicated in many of our biggest environmental challenges, from climate change to deforestation to the critical state of many coastal ecosystems. At the same time, animal-sourced foods are excellent sources of protein and other nutrients essential for mental and physical development, especially in young children; not to mention being in high demand among the burgeoning middle classes of emerging economies.
So, how do we reconcile our nutritional needs and our taste for animal-based foods with environmental sustainability?
This year’s report by the UN High-level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), which will be discussed during the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome from 17th to 21st of October 2016, explores the role of the livestock sector in sustainable agricultural development and in food and nutrition security.
Ahead of the CFS 43, SIANI spoke with Delia Grace – a veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and a member of the HLPE livestock project team – about the so-called omnivore’s dilemma, the critical issues in livestock production around the world and a vision for policy-makers who will be implementing the HLPE’s recommendations.