Mankind reached its latest population milestone on 31 October 2011, when the United Nations Population Fund estimated that a baby boy born in the Russian city of Kaliningrad became earth's seven billionth resident. That meant that only 11 years were needed to add another billion people to the world's population since the six-billion threshold was reached in 2000, while the population has doubled from 3.5 billion in the early 1970s. Even with fertility rates declining, the UN predicts that the world's population will continue to grow and reach eight billion in 2025 and 9.2 billion by 2050.
Any way you look at it, that's a lot of mouths to feed. The challenge, then, for food producers around the globe is to put into place systems that not only grow, raise or fabricate enough food to meet the needs of the worldwide population, but to do so in the most efficient, cost-effective manner and with the smallest amount of spoilage or waste possible.
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