September 21, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Move Over Test-Tube Burger, There’s a Lab-Grown Chicken Breast in the Works
Amit Gefen, a bioengineer and professor at Tel Aviv University, is midway through an experiment that could end in a recipe for the world’s first lab-grown chicken breast. He believes that lab-grown chicken could help satiate a growing global demand for meat at a time when livestock production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation, water pollution, and biodiversity losses.
Hervé This and the Future of Food
One of the reasons there isn’t enough food to go around is because when we transport it, what we’re really transporting is water, which makes food spoil. This plan proposes that we stop shipping ‘‘wet’’ foods across countries or continents and instead break them down into their parts: separating their nutrients and flavors into a wide variety of powders and liquids that are theoretically shelf-stable in perpetuity, and can be used as ingredients.
This Company is Using DNA to Sniff Out Contaminated Food
Clear Labs has been collecting samples from markets in the US and analyzing them to expand its genetic collection. Now the company claims it has the world’s largest database of food genetic markers. And it wants to use that data to change how manufacturers manage the food supply.
Seed by Seed, Acre by Acre, Big Data Is Taking over the Farm
Forget self-driving cars; tractors can already drive themselves across fields using GPS signals accurate to less than inch of error. Technologies like these help farmers plant more accurately and successfully, but the real potential is what happens when the data from thousands of tractors on thousands of farms is collected, aggregated, and analyzed in real time.
Future of Food: How We Grow
Known as “vertical” farming, the approach in which plants are grown in water instead of soil has grown significantly over the past 20 years. The new method uses much less water and energy than open soil farming, and requires no pesticides or fungicides, but nevertheless, on most hydroponic farms, chemicals are used to sterilize the water, and some nutrients are synthesized.
Pest-Resistant Maize Variety Opens Way for Technological Advancement
Kenya is on the cusp of becoming a regional leader in crop biotech. Led by a team largely made of local scientists, the country is about to introduce a new pest-resistant maize variety. Controlling the pest using biotechnology will not only reduce Kenya's food imports, it will also equip the country with new techniques that can be redeployed for other sectors such as drug and vaccine development. The project under review 


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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


| By Janet Fierro

Guest Commentary - Rural Niger Women find Opportunity and Hope through Innovative Business Model

When researchers set out to find natural ways to manage a crop-destroying pest in sub-Saharan Africa cowpea fields they knew the results could have significant positive impact on smallholder farmers. What they may not have expected was the significance of the cottage industry it inspired and the entrepreneurial spirit of the rural women of Niger who led it.