The World Isn't Growing Enough Fruits and Veggies

iStock

The worldwide agriculture system produces too many grains, fats, and sugars, and not enough fruits, vegetables, and protein to provide a healthy diet for everyone on earth, according to researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario. For a study published in PLOS One, the Canadian researchers compared global agriculture production and dietary recommendations.

They calculated the number of servings for each person in the world for each food group based on the Harvard University "Healthy Eating Plate" guide. According to these guidelines, half of our daily diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, 25 percent should consist of whole grains, and 25 percent should consist of protein, fat, and dairy.

Then the researchers calculated how much land is used for farming and how much would be needed if everyone followed the nutritional recommendations. They determined that per person, per day we produce:

  • 12 servings of grains instead of the recommended 8 servings
  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables instead of the recommended 15 servings
  • 3 servings of oil and fat instead of the recommended 1 serving
  • 3 servings of protein instead of the recommended 5 servings
  • 4 servings of sugar instead the recommendation of none

Sourced from: PLOS One