Animal Nutrition Views
Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.
The world is changing, and agriculture can be part of the change by talking to the right people.
The world is changing. It has always done so, but never so unpredictably as today, and most of us have no clue where it takes us. It is not just the politics we no longer understand, the wars in which we no longer participate, the trade policies in which we no longer find us included, but also the society we live in that is becoming a stranger to the very same people who support it.
In agriculture, to come back to familiar waters, we see things that previously were given as fixed in time. Gone is globalization and free trade, as gone are the undercover subsidies governments used to support their dithering agriculture sectors. We shall see terms such as national self-sufficiency come back, and most of us will have no idea what this is about or how to achieve it. Bread, once considered the basic staple in human nutrition, is no longer guaranteed for all people on earth. Most countries depend upon wheat imports from two or three main exporters for their bread production. Is this still acceptable?
The world keeps changing, and whether we like it or not, it is not going to stop.
And, to discuss even more familiar topics, animal agriculture is undergoing an unspoken protein revolution. With only three countries exporting soybean meal, there are two main drives in importing countries. Some are trying to cut down meat consumption either by labeling this practice as inhumane or even unhealthy, promoting vegetarianism and taking us back to previous centuries where protein malnutrition was the norm. Others are looking at alternative sources, such as insects — although I believe this is just another fad that will disappear when public funding stops, unlike algae that never caught on due to inadequate support. But, will consumers accept meat, eggs and milk produced by feeding animals insects? Recall that insects are also rich in fat!
Yes, the world keeps changing, and whether we like it or not, it is not going to stop, but at least we can be part of the change by talking to the right people. In most cases, we just voice our concerns by talking amongst ourselves; we never reach out to mainstream media. Others do and succeed in changing our future against us. Time to fight back.