July 23, 2018

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

 
Large-scale urban migration of youths threatens food production in Africa. Many young Africans see farming as an unattractive option as the industry grapples with climate change, unreliable electricity supplies, poor infrastructure, and barriers to land ownership and finance. There is a need for better infrastructure to connect cities to the countryside and for technology to be made more accessible and affordable.
 
A Dutch company that presented the world's first lab-grown beef burger five years ago said it has received funding to pursue its plans to make and sell artificially grown meat to restaurants in 2021. The aim is to achieve industrial-scale production two to three years later, with a typical hamburger patty costing about one dollar.
 
There is a lot of nervousness about genetic tinkering with food plants. The CRISPR revolution is reinventing, if not reigniting, that debate. Most of the plants that have been gene-edited to date have been created by knocking out genes, not by introducing genes from unrelated species, as first-generation genetic modification generally did.
 
For fast-food restaurants, robotic kitchens with limited repertoires look like a promising innovation. For real foodies, though, a robot that can turn its hand to almost anything culinary would be the acme of automation. A British firm aspires to do just that. Its robot chef is intended to emulate a real one—not only in the quality of the meals, but also by being able to learn to cook almost any recipe.
 
At the Congress of the World Association of Chefs Societies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, food experts launched the Food Waste Challenge, a plan that encourages chefs worldwide to start measuring the amount wasted from their kitchens and make a commitment to cut the mountain of discarded food. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted before it ends up on the table.
 

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


Photo of the Week

Diogene Habiyakare of Kavumu, Rwanda, hangs his maize harvest to dry in a storage space near his home.




Live Blog Post - Climate-Smart Food Security

At the Chicago Council’s Global Food Security Symposium today in Washington, DC, a panel on “Climate-Smart Food Security” addressed the role of family farmers in mitigating the effects of climate change including: climate-smart approaches already being used by smallholder farmers, opportunities to preserve natural resources, and the need for a “brown revolution.”


Expert Commentary by James Cameron

There remains a stubborn lack of understanding about the systemic connection between water, food, energy and the climate – and what this means for the future feeding of the world.


Commentary - Optimism about Agriculture’s Adaptive Capacity

The impacts of a changing climate on food security projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Climate Assessment and now the Chicago Council on Global Affairs raise legitimate concerns about the global food system’s ability to meet increasing challenges.



Live Blog Post - Every Farmer Wants What I Have

A recap of the "Managing Risks Associated with Volatile Weather, Changing Climates, and Resource Scarcity" panel at our fifth Global Food Security Symposium 2014 in Washington, DC.



Expert Commentary by Trey Hill

As a large grain producer, living in the mid Atlantic, I am able to see agriculture and food production from a unique perspective.



Expert Commentary by Chris Policinski

Discussions this week about the impact weather volatility and climate change have on global food production provide additional, powerful evidence of the fragile state of our world’s food security.