Our deadly nitrogen addiction

“Humanity is facing an unprecedented dilemma – how to feed a burgeoning population while resources decline and the ability of the Earth’s ecosystems and atmosphere to absorb pollution diminishes.”

The human population has reached a level far in excess of the ability of the planet to sustain it long-term through using synthetic nitrogen. The ‘green revolution’ was driven by a massive increase in fossil energy in food production; this one-off subsidy from the past is close to its end as the easy energy pickings diminish. To be able to feed the burgeoning population without fossil fuels and keep greenhouse gas emissions at a safe level will require removing livestock from human food and reducing the transport and processing of food.

Our deadly nitrogen addiction, written by Mike Joy, was recently published in The New Zealand Land & Food Annual 2017 by Massey University Press.

Download Mike’s chapter – Our deadly nitrogen addiction

To read more stimulating views from experts on how New Zealand can lead the way on sustainable food production and consumption, purchase the New Zealand Land and Food Annual 2017 here.

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