We often forget that the food we consume is generally part of a ‘food system’. How much does an average adult human being eat? An average human needs 2.5 kg food to survive. Judging by our ever-increasing population, one can assume that a huge portion of our economy is geared to produce, distribute and consume this 2.5 kg food on a daily basis. The networks that manage food in our economy is what we call food system.
World Bank’s seminar (April 29, 2019) held in Washington DC and streamed online, argued that transforming food system is the key to end poverty (which is at the heart of the World Bank’s mission).
Let me list what I learnt from the seminar:
- We need to change the way we produce, manage and consume food,
- bolster economic inclusion,
- build human capital and increase climate resilience,
- and also restore our planets beauty.
With rapid development in every sector of the world, there are many changes being observed in the environment. These changes have had a lasting impact on food systems. It is perceived that the current diet is making both the planet and the people residing here sick. We have to overcome the problem and put up the agenda : Transforming food as our priority. Mind you, there is still no particular answer to what we truly can do to improve our food system.
food and poverty
Food and its conservation should be one of our main priorities right now because it is the solution to various issues in the world. Almost half of the children in the world are malnourished, and it is sickening that we can’t provide proper nutritional food for the growth and development of our future generation. We should concentrate on innovation and technology which will make agriculture more precise and efficient.
IMPROVISE. The outdated methods of growing crops need thorough update. Cutting-edge research needs to be linked to regular food production models. This will help diminish food loss. Do you know how food wastage has an impact on climate change? A lot of processing is done to produce the food on your plate, there are tonnes of emission being released every year, and if you don’t consume the food being provided then it implies that ‘The emissions which effect climate change are due to the food we don’t even eat.’
love food. Hate waste
Alternatively, we can introduce healthy food diets and try to implement it throughout the world. This seems more like a theory impossible to implement in actual life. It certainly requires a huge transformation in food system, because the means and measures devised need to involve the local communities.
We have to keep a profound interest on “How the food system transformation must happen to create jobs and create economic opportunities. It’s not just about the global long-term strategies, it’s about everyday dilemma of farmers, mothers, and entrepreneurs.”
We can create technology that can help farmers produce a greater number of crops efficiently, this will also help the daunted mothers who are always worried about their family’s nutrition and also the entrepreneurs who try to provide eclectic dishes to their customers all over the plant.
I personally feel that the food system transformation would depict “Innovation and globalization going hand in hand.”
Finally, I’d like to address the fact that ‘We are in deep trouble’. In the last 100 years the planet has gone through a lot due to our activities. We are hitting the biophysical ceiling of the systems that regulate the stability of the planet itself. We need to protect our planet and our food. Agriculture is what started the world, and thus it will determine whether or not we will solve the challenges we are facing.
We need to target the 2 main planetary victims – Celsius warming & lost corals and Arctic sea ice. The one probable solution for these victims can be “Agriculture revolution”. And solutions like maintaining carbon sinks in the natural ecosystem can help reduce a lot of land and air pollution. We just can’t continue feeding the humanity the way we do now. After 30 years we won’t be left with any resource. So, it is important to maintain earth resilience and natural ecosystems and there is a fair chance of success if we implement the above solutions.
Featured image shows woman harvesting wheat in Madhya Pradesh, India. Courtesy Wikimedia commons.