March 12, 2018

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Farmers prepare a Prim'Holstein milk cow at the 2018 Paris International Agricultural Show as work continues on the eve of the opening of the farm show in Paris, France, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
 
The unicellular inhabitants of a cow’s gut are responsible for some of the cattle industry's greenhouse gas contributions, since, as it turns out, cows don't make methane. Bacteria make methane. Animal scientists hypothesize that by changing these microbes they can prime cows to make more meat while eating less food, or maybe even lower the amount of methane that cows release.
 
The WHO says meat production is projected to rise to 376 million tons by 2030, from 218 million tons annually during 1997 to 1999. The “clean meat” firm JUST says lab-made sausages, chicken nuggets, and foie gras could be served in Asia and the US before the end of 2018. Other companies forecast that we're still a few years away from mass marketed lab-grow meat products.
 
Perfect Day’s yeast produces actual dairy proteins. Food scientists program the genetic code into the yeast, and that yeast starts pumping out the desired proteins. The yeast never makes it into the final product, enabling the final product to be labeled GMO-free. Perfect Day plans to start by selling dairy proteins as functional ingredients for food manufacturers, with other dairy products not far behind.
 
Annie’s, Inc. will launch a new boxed macaroni and cheese this month with ingredients that were made using regenerative farming practices, a series of steps that could help fight climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. The new boxed product will be limited edition, but Annie’s sees it as proof of concept for its larger vision to scale regeneratively farmed ingredients across its business.
 
Scientists have revealed that a simple genetic tweak to overexpress a single protein in crops could result in the plants needing up to 25 percent less water to produce a regular yield. Potentially, the breakthrough research will lead to a new generation of water-efficient agriculture that helps communities grow more food in areas struggling with drought and climate change.
 
Thousands of food-company executives, retail giants, and potential investors are gathering at The Natural Products Expo West to answer an increasingly elusive question: What’s the next eating trend? Big food companies are experiencing anemic growth and also new threats from Amazon’s push into grocery. So to boost sales and profits, the big brands and grocers are looking to natural, organic, and niche brands they say are in growing demand by consumers.

About

The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Blogroll

1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

Archive

| By Pietro Turilli

Field Notes - How to Strike the Most Effective Partnerships for Food Security

In today’s hyperconnected world, challenges felt in one region or country almost always have wider if not global repercussions. The International Potato Center, part of the CGIAR system, develops partnerships with the private sector to tackle these challenges more effectively. 


| By Julie Borlaug

Featured Commentary - Hope Through Agriculture: Now More than Ever

In our latest collaboration with Agri-Pulse, Julie Borlaug writes that now is the time for everyone in agriculture to demonstrate how their passion and dedication have found solutions to the major threats we face as a collective human species: food and nutrition security, environmental stability and sustainability.








| By Lisa Moon

Guest Commentary - Reduce Food Loss & Waste, Feed Millions

Studies show that one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, enough to feed 1.9 billion people-almost the same amount as are experiencing food insecurity. Food banks are uniquely positioned to address the paradox of global hunger and food loss and waste. 


| By Colin Christensen, Eva Koehler

Guest Commentary - The Plague You’ve Never Heard About Could be as Destructive as COVID-19: How the Threat from Desert Locusts Shows the Need for Innovations in how Organizations Scale

The international community needs to mobilize to combat the plague of locusts devouring East Africa. At the same time however, we should also consider the long-term investments we must make to build lasting resilience to climate change among smallholder populations.




| By Sarah Bingaman Schwartz, Maria Jones

Guest Commentary - Reducing Food Loss and Waste by Improving Smallholder Storage

Reducing postharvest losses by half would result in enough food to feed a billion people, increase smallholder income levels and minimize pressure on natural resources. The ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss works with smallholders in Bihar to improve storage and reduce loss.