Food system by-products upcycled in livestock and aquaculture feeds can increase global food supply

Many livestock and aquaculture feeds compete for resources with food production. Increasing the use of food system by-products and residues as feed could reduce this competition. We gathered data on global food system material flows for crop, livestock and aquaculture production, focusing on feed use and the availability of by-products and residues. We then analysed the potential of replacing food-competing feedstuff—here cereals, whole fish, vegetable oils and pulses that account for 15% of total feed use—with food system by-products and residues. Considering the nutritional requirements of food-producing animals, including farmed aquatic species, this replacement could increase the current global food supply by up to 13% (10–16%) in terms of kcal and 15% (12–19%) in terms of protein content. Increasing the use of food system by-products as feed has considerable potential, particularly when combined with other measures, in the much-needed transition towards circular food systems.

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Citation: Sandström, V., A. Chrysafi, M. Lamminen, M. Troell, M. Jalava, J. Piipponen, S. Siebert, O. van Hal, V. Virkki and M. Kummu. 2022 Nature Food 3(9):729–740.

Food system by-products upcycled in livestock and aquaculture feeds can increase global food supply

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