The ongoing public discussion about sustainability tends to make agriculture wrong unless its local or small farms, but the reality is feeding our communities, whether they be next door or around the world, lies with responsible food-production systems that produce all kinds of foods on all sizes of farms.
Some deplorable U.S. hunger statistics were published a couple of weeks ago in the Institute of Food Technologists newsletter. A study from Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief group, reports more than 37 million people – one in eight Americans – receive emergency food annually. This is an increase of 46% over a 2006 study. Hunger in America 2010 is the first research study to capture the significant connection between the recent economic downturn and an increased need for emergency food assistance.
Couple this with estimates that the world will need 100% more food than currently produced to feed increases in world population by year 2050 and you see a daunting challenge in need of new and innovative solutions. The need to merge feeding objectives with increased productivity, poverty reduction and sustainability is surfacing in multiple professional forums around the world. It’s a movement long overdue.