"A meat-eater with a bicycle is much more environmentally unfriendly than a vegetarian with a Hummer."
--Dr Mark Post
The world's largest food concern, Unilever, has opened a new research lab at the world's most prestigious agricultural university, the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands).
Unilever will locate all elements of its foods R&D there. A spokeswoman on Dutch radio stressed plant-based meat alternatives as an important research subject.
Wageningen University has strong credentials in that respect, with the development of shear cell technology.
Shear cell technology strings plant proteins together in tightly controlled fibers, resulting in a meat substitute where texture (fibrousness, bite, mouthfeel) can easily be controlled, and changed at will. This, combined with 3D food printing, offers the possibility of creating multiple meat (substitute) variations in future.
Unilever's food campus is open to startups, innovators and partners. One of the first to have build its own lab on the same grounds is Symrise, an industrial flavours and scents group.
About half of Dutch people call themselves 'flexitarians'. This means that they don't eat meat with their main meal at least three times a week. The proportion of vegetarians is stable, at just under five percent of the Dutch population.
Wageningen researchers believe, however, that feeding 9 billion people with animal meat will not be sustainable for the planet.
This has a pretty picture showing regions where crops are for food vs feed/fuel.
That pretty picture is exactly my point.
Over 80% of agricultural land in Scotland (similar in Wales) is actually classed as "less favoured area" which means "poor land" "suitable for extensive livestock farming" (that's the opposite of intensive livestock farming btw.). Scotland is shown as basically "feed and fuel", no food.
Your pretty picture is quite clearly showing poor land _only_ suitable for growing livestock (and not intensively either) as "feed and fuel". The picture, and article, gives the less astute reader the (incorrect) impression that you can change "feed and fuel" land to "food" land, no distinction is made between the land which you could do that and the land where this is physically impossible (almost all of Scotland). For figuring out what the optimum land use is for food production either world wide or in any particular place, the picture is therefore precisely completely and utterly useless.
People without the knowledge and understanding of what actually happens on the ground as it were, will, nevertheless, continue to make flawed land-use arguments from your picture (and other similar maps and data).