If the rest of the world ate like Americans, the planet would have run out of fresh water 15 years ago, according Nestle, the world’s largest food company. In private, Nestle executives told U.S. officials that the world is on a collision course with doom because non-Americans eat too much meat, and now, other countries are following suit, according to a secret U.S. report titled “Tour D’Horizon with Nestle: Forget the Global Financial Crisis, the World Is Running Out of Fresh Water.”
The classified document, which was released on Wikileaks, says that as more people around the globe eat meat the closer we come as a global civilization to devastating water shortages.
Producing just one pound of meat requires a huge amount of water as farmers have to use it to keep their crops healthy to feed their livestock. Countries such as India and China are on the rise in terms of meat consumption and will soon catch up with the amount taken by Europe, and then potentially the USA.
The planet is on a “potentially catastrophic” course as billions of people in countries such as India and China begin eating more beef, chicken and pork like their counterparts in Western countries, according to the 2009 report released by WikiLeaks and first reported by Reveal at The Center for Investigative Reporting.
Nestle sees the world, and global food production, largely in terms of the water economy. Its management is convinced that growing shortages of fresh water, rather than land, will become the Achilles heel of global agricultural development.
The Chinese now eat about half as much meat as Americans, Australians and Europeans, a figure that continues to rapidly rise as more Chinese are lifted out of poverty and into the middle class.
“Nestle thinks one-third of the world’s population will be affected by fresh water scarcity by 2025, with the situation only becoming more dire thereafter and potentially catastrophic by 2050.”
Major regions, including in the United States, are being drained of their underground aquifers. “Problems with be severest in the Middle East, northern India, northern China, and the western United States.”
Excessive meat-eating is driving water depletion. “Nestle points out that a calorie of meat requires 10 times as much water to produce as a calorie of food crops. As the world’s growing middle classes eat more meat, the earth’s water resources will be dangerously squeezed.”
“The current U.S. diet provides about 3,600 calories per day with substantial meat consumption. If the whole world were to move to this standard, global fresh water resources would be exhausted at a population level of 6 billion, which the world reached in the year 2000.”
“There is not nearly enough fresh water available to provide this standard to a global population expected to exceed 9 billion by mid-century.”
“It is clear that current developed country meat-based diets and patterns of water usage do not provide a blueprint for the planet’s future. Based on present trends, Nestle believes that the world will face a cereals shortfall of as much as 30 percent by 2025. (Nestle) stated it will take a combination of strategies to avert a crisis.”
Not surprisingly Nestle supports the universal introduction and acceptance of genetically modified crops. “Genetically modified crops are more productive and can be designed to resist salinity. The current European public resistance to bio-tech crops is anti-scientific and un-sustainable. In Nestle’s view, the world will have no alternative but to depend on GMO’s to meet its food needs and conserve water.”