How our food choices cut into forests and put us closer to viruses -Terry Sunderland

Share this article Share this article
published Published on Aug 21, 2020   modified Modified on Aug 22, 2020

-Down to Earth

The food most associated with biodiversity loss also tends to also be connected to unhealthy diets across the globe

As the global population has doubled to 7.8 billion in about 50 years, industrial agriculture has increased the output from fields and farms to feed humanity. One of the negative outcomes of this transformation has been the extreme simplification of ecological systems, with complex multi-functional landscapes converted to vast swaths of monocultures.

From cattle farming to oil palm plantations, industrial agriculture remains the greatest driver of deforestation, particularly in the tropics. And as agricultural activities expand and intensify, ecosystems lose plants, wildlife and other biodiversity.

The permanent transformation of forested landscapes for commodity crops currently drives more than a quarter of all global deforestation. This includes soy, palm oil, beef cattle, coffee, cocoa, sugar and other key ingredients of our increasingly simplified and highly processed diets.

The erosion of the forest frontier has also increased our exposure to infectious diseases, such as Ebola, malaria and other zoonotic diseases. Spillover incidents would be far less prevalent without human encroachment into the forest.

We need to examine our global food system: Is it doing its job, or is it contributing to forest destruction and biodiversity loss — and putting human life at risk?

Please click here to read more.

 

 


Down to Earth, 21 August, 2020, https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/food/how-our-food-choices-cut-into-forests-and-put-us-closer-to-viruses-72956?fbclid=IwAR1Wv9rOtU1GlL6anxzsLDOwuyvtyjJwnz8-OG1mhin1EWSDGSu2-Hd1yHg


Related Articles

 

Write Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Video Archives

Archives

share on Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Feedback
Read Later

Contact Form

Please enter security code
      Close