January 4, 2016

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Vegetables Likely to Take More of Your Plate in 2016
Vegetables have moved from the side to the center of the plate. And as another year begins, it appears that plants are the new meat. Eaters in 2016 also are likely to see more dried beans, peas, and lentils on their plates. The UN has declared this the International Year of Pulses to raise consumer awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of the edible dry seeds.

We Need a New Green Revolution
If agriculture is to have any chance of answering the challenges of shifting weather patterns and dwindling resources, we must have new and improved techniques and technologies. The best way forward is funding research through a competitive process, with projects selected through a peer-review procedure that excludes politics.
Bugs on the Menu in Ghana as Palm Weevil Protein Hits the Pan
Palm weevil larvae may not be to everyone’s tastes, but they enrich diets, ease food shortages, and boost farmers’ incomes. Aspire Food Group, which operates Ghana’s first commercial insect farm, wants to bring insects from the culinary margins to the mainstream to address food shortages, as well as to boost people’s iron intake.
Is It All in Your Gut?
Is there a hidden cause of obesity? A professor at Stanford thinks the answer might lie with the 100 trillion microbes living in our bodies. Investigators examined the intestinal microbes of mice and determined that certain bacteria can cause weight gain.
The Climate Integration Challenge
To confront climate change, many practitioners advocate for a “development-first” approach that aims to build climate resilience through strategies aimed at increasing food security, enhancing social cohesion, and strengthening governance. As part of its Resilience Initiative, Mercy Corps conducted a series of case studies of programs attempting to integrate climate considerations to explore the approaches and experience to date. 


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.


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