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14 February 2014
ASSAf Distinguished visiting scholar

ASSAf Distinguished Visiting Scholar: Changing patterns of food use in the world

Increasing urbanisation and income levels are well known to lead to higher demands for animal foods and greater dietary diversity, including reliance on fast food. So, with a continually-growing population in an increasingly urbanised world, what will be on our plates tomorrow? Meat or fish or algae and vegetables? Organic food, slow or fast food, vegetarian or vegan?

That will be the topic under discussion when the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape hosts Professor Louise O. Fresco from the University of Amsterdam, at UWC’s Library Auditorium on 14 February 2014 from 1pm to 2.30pm. Prof Fresco specialises in the foundations of sustainable development in an international context, and will present her paper on the future of food production and consumption in Africa and the world.

Prof Fresco explains that the world will need 50% more calories in 2030. The global population is expected to increase by 0.7% annually; and nearly all growth will take place in developing and emerging markets, most of them in Africa. Middle-class consumers are driving changes in consumption patterns, and their numbers are increasing drastically – Africa now has 200 million people with middle class incomes. The middle and upper classes increasingly consider food as a means to establish identity and seek health. Consumer concern leads to increased demands for transparency and regulation of sustainable, animal friendly and healthy products. In addition, reducing greenhouse emissions is an important concern for food production, transport and consumption.

There are enough reasons to be optimistic, but we have to open up the debate so that it is based on empirical, scientific findings rather than idealistic wishful thinking. Join the discussion at the Library Auditorium, or follow the live tweets: #feedingtheworld

Date: 14 February 2014

Venue: Library Auditorium, UWC Main Campus

Time: 13h00 to 14h30