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

Commentary - Is Feed the Future delivering results? Yes – with some limitations.

Robai Nyongesa, a smallholder farmer in western Kenya, used to struggle to grow enough maize to feed her family. Last year, she was able to harvest 20 bags of maize from 1 acre of land, a fivefold increase over her previous poor harvests. Her large harvest enabled her to feed her three children, and to hire a tutor to give her children private lessons at home.



Photo of the Week

Farmers of the Faulu group in Bungoma South, Kenya, stand proudly in front of Beatrice Masila’s sorghum that has now grown taller than they are!


Call for Innovators: Bridging Dairy Data Gaps

Dairy, especially milk, can play an important role in providing essential nutrients to a woman of child-bearing age, a gestating or lactating mother, and children.




Commentary - Building a More Nutritious Future for All

A silent crisis is happening right now. It affects 165 million children globally, robbing them of the future they deserve and leading to more child deaths every year than any other disease. In a world of plentiful, nutritious foods and advanced science, this is unacceptable.


Commentary - Nourishing a Stronger Future

With less than two years until the end of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the health and development communities are looking back at what has been accomplished, and looking ahead to where we have opportunities to do more.


Commentary - Solvable problem

Whenever I have the privilege of spending time among the people that the World Food Programme (WFP) serves, I come away enriched with precious extra knowledge and inspired by the new ways in which governments are tackling the world’s greatest solvable problem – hunger.



The Chicago Council’s #GlobalAg summit in one word? Innovation.

With an introductory message from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and keynote remarks from Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE; Lauren Bush Lauren, founder of FEED; and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, this year’s event was global agriculture’s version of the Oscars.



Commentary - Food Aid Reform: Making Every Dollar Count

Today, almost 1 billion people are hungry. By 2050, world population will top 9 billion, only increasing the demand for food, fuel, and natural resources and straining our ability – and the planet’s ability – to feed and nourish all.   


How the U.S. Can Lead on Food Security

Our national discourse is driven by a few topical issues with the occasional political scandal sprinkled in. With the economic recovery, immigration reform and the IRS controversy dominating today’s conversation, it’s no surprise that a monumental issue like food security gets lost in the shuffle.