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Dietary Changes Since 1960 Have Strained The Supply Of Rare Resource: Phosphorous

January 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Over the last four decades, increases in meat consumption and total calorie intake have led to a 38 percent increase in the world’s per capita phosphorous footprint, according to researchers at Canada’s McGill University. They calculated the total amount of phosphorus applied to food crops for humans and animals by using fertilizer-application rates. They then looked at the statistical relationship between economic development and phosphorus-footprint values, finding that dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus – a relatively scarce resource. "Our results demonstrate that changes in diet can be a significant part of the strategy for enhancing sustainability of phosphorus management," the lead author said.
"Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use", Press release, Environmental Research Letters, January 17, 2013, © AAAS, the science society
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