How can we ensure everyone has nutritious, sustainable food?
Food was not selected by the public vote to be the focus of Longitude Prize.
There are other exciting and innovative projects and prizes that are taking place in this area. Below are links to some of these.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – Nutrition
- PETA ‘In vitro’ meat contest
- World Food Programme – First 1000 Days
The food problem
By 2050 it is estimated that 9.1 billion people will be living on our planet.
As the world’s population grows, gets richer and moves to cities, their tastes will turn to more resource-hungry foods such as meat and milk. In the face of limited resources and climate change, we must learn how to feed the world using fewer resources.
The problem is multifaceted; solving the global food supply problem is not just about tackling starvation. Many people are not starving, but they do lack micronutrients in their diets, making them unhealthy. We cannot rely on replicating carbon intensive and unhealthy western diets in order to solve this problem.
It is clear that the diet of the rich impacts on the diet of the poor. For instance increasing demand for meat may raise grain and land prices, commercial fishing practices can deplete stocks relied on by subsistence fishing communities.
Simply providing the poor with the current diet of the rich is impossible. The meat-rich, varied, western diet which many aspire to enjoy, incurs huge environmental costs. The planet simply cannot support the increased demand generated by the spread of western habits. We’re running out of room, we’re running out of resources and we’re running out of time. We need a new, big food innovation.