Guest Blog from Katerva: Embracing the challenge of feeding the world
Feeding 9 Billion People will challenge us to embrace agricultural practices that can produce enough food without creating too much harm for the planet. The challenges associated with producing a high enough quantity of quality food is outlined in the second Sustainable Development Goal put forth by the United Nations: Zero Hunger.
So it is no surprise that one of Katerva’s 10 awards categories focuses exclusively on Food. Our aim is to accelerate advances in food security, production, and more sustainable resource use in the agricultural sector. A growing human population is placing increasing demands on the agriculture system, which in turn places increased strain on the environment. Producing food sustainably will be essential to maintaining global stability and feeding a population estimated to reach 9.7 Billion by 2050.
Advancements in resource use, such as reducing water or fertilizer use can help limit the environmental impact of food production. But innovations will be required across the food system in order to address issues at all stages, from production, distribution, consumption to waste.
The wonderful thing is, once you start looking you can find such projects everywhere: from projects that help reduce plastic waste associated with food - such as an edible spoon or edible packaging, approaches to reduce waste in kitchens - such as winner of Katerva’s Beharioral Change category 2018, Winnow, to making sure less food is being thrown away because it is not ‘pretty’ enough such as 2018 runner-up Full Harvest Technologies. Previous Katerva winners in the Food category have addressed issues from crop growth to food storage to the development of consumer products to address the many unsustainable facets of the food system.
There are many innovators working to improve the sustainability of the food system. These innovations range from changes in individual dietary choices, to how food is produced and distributed. While the type and motivation behind these innovations vary, increased integration of sustainable practices in food can only bring positive change throughout the system. Latest innovations and trends that are currently reshaping the food industry are showcased in a recent Forbes article. For a global plan for feeding ourselves sustainably read “Nourished Planet”, a book edited by Food Tank founder Dannielle Nierenberg - Food Tank was part of our 2013 Awards Process.
This year’s Food Category and Grand Prize winner Protix, is tackling the challenge head-on by incorporating an underutilized resource into the food system in order to improve access to sustainable protein sources: insects. Insects offer an abundant and sustainable high-protein food source for livestock that can significantly reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture.
Protix notes that “Insects have the amazing ability to turn low-grade food waste into valuable high-end proteins and fats…have a low ecological footprint and are the perfect sustainable alternative to regular protein sources” The limited resources required to raise insects compared to other protein sources as well as their ability to efficiently convert food waste into usable energy makes them a perfect choice for strengthening circular production in the food industry. Protix has used this approach to develop products for soil enhancement, and animal as well as human consumption.
There are many other changes underway aimed at making food more sustainable. Yet despite progress on reducing hunger worldwide, increased food demand from population growth and decreased production has led to rising hunger levels. The human cost of failing to address this disparity is far too large to ignore and will require a rethinking of how we view and produce food.
Much work remains to be done!
If you are aware of some exciting sustainable disruptive innovations in the field of food security, let us know, so we can help accelerate and scale them, for the benefit of all of us.
By Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss first published on Inter Press Service here. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year’s critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt. COP26 (formally, the 26 th annual Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) is planned for Glasgow, Scotland (UK) from 9-20 November. It will be the culmination of five years of negotiations since the historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. More than 100 presidents and prime ministers are expected to present their nations’ plans for carrying out the sweeping environmental, economic and energy changes necessary to keep the Earth’s warming to survivable levels. In all, over 30,000 government delegates, intergovernmental officials and stakeholder representatives are preparing to attend. The agenda of COP26 is deep and urgent. Bes
Guest blog by Katrin Kuhlmann, Chantal Line Carpentier, Negin Shahiar, Tara Francis, and Ana María Garcés Escobar The authors encourage comments, thoughts, or feedback at email@example.com and UNCTADNY2@un.org. Changes in the international economic order have brought to the forefront two divergent trends in global trade that will continue to play out over the course of 2020. On one end, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is facing significant reforms following the U.S. Administration’s decision to block new Appellate Body judges. At the same time, according to the WTO and the Financing for Development Report 2019, the incidence of trade-restrictive measures imposed by G-20 governments has reached historically high levels. In light of this, today’s appeals for mutually beneficial gains from trade ring increasingly hollow, seemingly replaced in some parts of the world and increasingly even at the multilateral level by the simpler notion that trade is a zero-sum game,
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