“In a highly publicized move, Russia is destroying tons of food that was illegally imported from Western countries. […] As The Guardian reports, the order from President Vladimir Putin includes a requirement that the food “must be destroyed in front of witnesses, and the act should be captured on video, to preclude corruption.” NPR The destruction … Continue reading Russia’s Import Roulette
The finalized text for the Sustainable Development Goals was published on August 1st. I was curious to see what it had to say on sustainable food and agricultural systems. I summarize my thoughts below for a quick impression; thereafter you can find a blow-by-blow list of all instances where the SDGs mention food or agriculture … Continue reading Food In the Sustainable Development Goals: Great Ideas, But What About Demand?
I peek around the corner of the grocery store. Well, I guess ‘store’ is a misnomer – distribution point, maybe? I am shy at first because I am wary of being an obnoxious foreigner, treating Havana as an open-air museum full of entertaining quirks that actually make up Cubans’ reality. But the clerk waves me … Continue reading State-Sponsored Food Security: The Cuban Case. Does It Work?
I am back from Cuba and have a long list of posts in my mind, both from the conference I attended and from talking to Cubans on the street. Coming soon. However, these days I can’t stop thinking about a topic closer to home, at least mentally – the Greek/European tragedy unrolling over the last … Continue reading Greece: Food Insecurity At Europe’s Doorstep
Last week, I turned down the possibility to attend a training on “How to Deal with Lobbyists” (so glamorous) to instead learn about the sustainable food policy agenda in Europe – and I have to say, I have no regrets! The LiveWell for Life conference was really well organized, had interesting panellists and great speakers, … Continue reading Recap: LiveWell for Low-Impact Food In Europe conference!
First of all, ugh, I wasn’t planning to disappear for so long! The longer I am working, the more appreciation I have for the more professional bloggers that do it next to their day job – what a tough call! However, I really miss this little space whenever I quiet down for a while, so … Continue reading What Money Can Buy…
Philanthropy is an interesting concept. Here is one person, or a board of people, with more money to distribute than small nations have budgets. If they choose to concentrate on a topic, their impact can be immense and drive research, NGO actions and government policies in the direction of their liking because of the financial … Continue reading Who Gets The Money? On Helping Africa To Feed Itself – in the US.
Yesterday, as I was closing my computer for the end of the workday, I was convinced (CONVINCED) it was already Friday. Maybe it has something to do with the tradition of Thursday night happy hour in Brussels. Or all the pretty lights that guide you into the weekend… Nevertheless, the weekend is around the corner and … Continue reading Fun Links Friday V!
It happens that once you specialize in a topic, you get a little jaded about ‘broad overview’ talks. Whenever I go to one of those now, I notice myself mentally playing the ‘food security bingo’ game – what doesn’t the presenter mention? What is emphasized? The point scale in my head looks somewhat like this:
- Mentions food waste as a problem: + 3
- Speaks about diet choice: + 3
- Mentions food sovereignty: + 2
- Has a differentiated opinion about GMOs: + 1
- Opens with “how in the world will we feed 10 billion people?”: – 1
- Speaks about the green revolution as something to emulate: – 1
- Doesn’t question the current feed vs. food vs. fuel distribution: – 2
- Speaks about “incredible unused land resources in Africa and Latin America” (which are mainly pastoral or rainforest land): – 3
- Speaks about multinationals as saviors or alternatively as THE ENEMY: – 3
Like a blackjack player that is counting cards, I try to keep track of whether the tally in my head is positive or negative, and more often than not it finishes around 0 – which is always a slight disappointment. Not so with the World Resources Institute: they thoroughly impressed me with the broadness of their approach, the balanced variety of solutions – focusing on both demand- and supply-side issues – and the honesty with which they presented their research.
The talk that was presented at DG AGRI was based on the WRI’s upcoming World Resources Report which they dedicate to the challenge of “feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050” and “filling the food gap” (- 1). The speaker thus opened the talk by presenting the fact that we need to produce 70% more food by 2050 – making my eyebrows rise in anticipation of yet another talk focusing on production, production, and yield increases. But I was positively surprised: look at the list of recommendations they give, and look at the top of the list (list as presented in their press release):
We often hear about the fact that ‘just producing food is not enough’ if we want to confront the problems of global malnutrition – it also depends on what kind of food we grow and eat. That is the mission of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. They’re a panel of experts … Continue reading How Does Nutrition Fit Into Food Policy? @Glo_PAN