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


Commentary - Addressing Food Security Beyond our Food Supply

I’ll soon be attending the Symposium on Agriculture and Food Security. It doesn’t happen often that world leaders, researchers and philanthropists have the chance to gather for two days to discuss the progress made in the past year – and the work that’s still ahead – in addressing food security challenges.






Commentary - Stretching the Food Aid Dollar by Building Strong Local Markets

Floods, typhoons and droughts. Market fluctuations and inflation. Unhealthy government transitions and local political flare-ups. Disease-ridden crops and tainted water sources. All of these shocks can devastate any country, but for nations combatting poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, disasters often precipitate acute food security outbreaks that result in suffering and loss of life. 






Commentary - Freezing the Footprint of Food

By the year 2050, our planet will be home to another two billion people. How and where we will we feed everyone has become one of the most pressing conservation issues of the 21st century.



Commentary - Lesson from a Famine: Markets Matter

Ten years after the Ethiopian famine of 2003, when international food aid rushed in to feed 14 million people, another World Food Program (WFP) tent has been erected on an open field.  But this isn’t a scene of food distribution.  It is a scene of food purchase.