Water shortage forces world to become vegetarians, scientists predict

Swedish institute says there won’t be enough water to produce animal-based products by 2050.

Water seems to be everywhere in the news lately. Isaac is slamming the Gulf, while 65% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Then I came across this article in which the Stockholm International Water Institute predicted the world’s population might be forced to become vegetarian by 2050.

The gist behind the institute’s prediction is that there won’t be enough water to maintain our agriculture needs in the future.

“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” the institute said.

The article continues: "A move towards vegetarian diets could help free up large portions of arable land to human food production," Orion Jones wrote on BigThink.com. "A third of current farmland is used to grow crops that feed animals. Additionally 'animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet.'"

While I doubt this prediction will come true, it brings up a good point about the need to recognize how our actions today affect the world’s environmental health. In our October issue we will share the results of our fourth annual Environmental Study. Sixty-eight percent of respondents in our survey said they conserve water in their personal lives to try to help the environment. Twenty-six percent have installed water-flow restrictors in their operations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the water/vegetarian prediction and what you’re doing in your operation to conserve water. Send me your thought at bschilling@cspnet.com or respond in the comments section below.

Keywords: 
sustainability

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources