A SEA change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store ? something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn?t oil.
It?s meat. .........
The world?s total meat supply was 71 million tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 284 million tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) World meat consumption is expected to double again by 2050, which one expert, Henning Steinfeld of the United Nations, says is resulting in a ?relentless growth in livestock production.?
The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States ? much of which now serves the demand for meat ? contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation?s rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.