Eating sustainable and healthy food is a challenge for many people. Add in climate change, inefficient safety standards and about 2 billion mouths to feed within the next 25 years, and the food crisis will only become worse. Businessweek recently published a story on the food crisis and enlisted a panel of experts to advise on how they would fix it. The biggest factors addressed were technology and politics.
Technology is extremely important now and in the future. It enables us to track our food quality and product system, which will help us become efficient producers of food. By increasing our productivity and efficiency we will be able to provide more affordable food, including more organic foods. Smart phones are an advantage for our famers. They can use a smart phone to spot crop disease, share information with other farmers when problems are occurring in their area and access pricing information. Cell phones can be used for reverse trace back. When there is an announcement for a recall on a given item, 1.4 million people can be called with in an hour. Technology is going to help us increase our productivity and efficiency.
Politics are going to be a big part of the future of our food. Policies are changing the way we use food stamps and will improve the quality of what we serve in our nation’s school lunches. It’s not just government policy, but it is large companies creating change. These companies have the ability to influence their consumers, they are the ones that need to lower sodium content, cut out saturated fats and decrease portion sizes. Educators are an important part of the future of our health. Through education we will be able to make informed healthy decisions.
Overall, the world is moving in the right direction. We’re getting smarter, more creative and more innovative in the ways we address hunger. The biggest challenge really is to continue to create the policies and continue the commitment of the private sector to solve these problems. Looking at the risks as we know them now and not as we understood them in the past are how we are going to move forward and create real change.
For the full story, visit: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/how-the-experts-would-fix-the-food-crisis.