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Critical role of animal science research in food security and sustainability

Bruce, A

Food Security   8 (1) 299-300

DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0520-3

February 2016   (First published online November 2015)

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12571-015-0520-3

Book review: National Research Council of the National Academies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2015, vii + 415 pp. Paperback US$ 79, ISBN 978-0-309-31644-6

Many of the readers of Food Security may find themselves being critical of animal science in the context of food security and sustainability, rather than trying to see what animal science research can contribute to this area of study. After all, food animals are implicated in rain forest destruction, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (methane emissions in particular have been emphasised). Also, it is argued that land used to produce feed for animals could be used to produce food for humans instead, and that excessive consumption of animal products is harmful to human health. The emphasis in sustainability debates has therefore tended to be on advocating reduced meat consumption (and more rarely, reduced consumption of dairy products). Why then should readers of Food Security be interested in this book?