The sustainability of aquaculture could play a key role in the 2022 food system.
“Blue foods” are protein sources derived from aquacultural sources such as fish, mussels, aquatic plants and algae. Blue foods were recently recognized in LinkedIn’s article “29 big ideas that will change our world in 2022.” As the global population continues to increase and climate change threatens current food production, blue foods are quickly becoming a key solution for meeting the high demands of an already stretched food supply chain.
How does U.S. soy fit into that? The U.S. soybean industry has long supported the growth of aquaculture as a preferred feed ingredient. The superior value and performance of soy aquafeed has helped aquaculture to meet global nutritional needs, as an affordable and sustainable means of rapidly grown protein for human nutrition.
Through sustainable farming, innovation and efficiency, U.S. soybean farmers consistently produce more essential nutrients, at a higher quality and with a better return, while using fewer finite natural resources.
Aquaculture in the spotlight
Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, the 2021 World Food Prize laureate, pioneered fish-based food systems to improve nutrition, health and livelihoods for millions around the world. Thilsted was the first to establish that many small fish species commonly eaten across southeast Asia are a critical source of essential micronutrients and fatty acids, and can improve the absorption of nutrients in plant-based foods, reshaping scientific understanding of the benefits of fish in human diets. This breakthrough has helped prioritize increases in fish consumption and production, transforming the diets of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Thilsted’s work has directly impacted outcomes for soy organizations focused on global diets, including the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, with support from the soy checkoff. “Food security is a major issue in the developing and emerging economies where WISHH works,” says Liz Hare, executive director of WISHH. “Soy-based feed for aquaculture can be a part of the solution to get more affordable protein to more people. It’s exciting to see U.S. soybean growers engage on this issue.” Farm Progress