Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food, Hunger and Technology

The holiday season is a time we gather around the table to enjoy a meal with family. Most of you reading this probably don’t have to worry about how you will feed your family this week. Hunger and food insecurity are growing problems in America and around the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports 1 in 4 children have an uncertain food supply and will experience hunger. How can we successfully feed a growing population using fewer resources?

As food producers, we in agriculture play a role in making quality, reasonably priced and plentiful food a global reality. We must support solutions that will fight hunger, make food affordable and protect the environment. According to the United Nations, technology is 70% of the solution in producing the 100% more food (based on 2000 levels) that will be required to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

This 4-minute video examines the growing problem of hunger, what matters most to consumers around the world when they purchase food, and the solutions technology can provide.

I agree with the statement shared on the video, “Food is a human right and choice is a consumer right.”  The video also pointed out that 95% of us consumers purchase food based on taste, cost and nutrition while 4% are “lifestyle buyers” who value specialty or organic foods.

It will take a variety of farms to produce food; small, large, traditional, and organic. Farmers must be able to utilize a diverse range of management methods based on what works best for their farm and animals. One size doesn’t fit all. We should embrace those who make a commitment to work in production agriculture, not celebrate one style of farming while demonizing another. We need all of these farms to feed a growing population and give people choices in the grocery store. Let’s honor all types of agriculture and respect the differences in production methods and farm sizes. After all, this diversity is what provides us with a bounty of wonderful choices!

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