So often, the conversation about hunger in the U.S. is centered around food production. Yes, we believe science can help save the world, and that technology is and will continue to play a crucial role in feeding a growing population a finite amount of land; however, food insecurity has never been solely about food production. It’s about people and the systems we put in place to distribute and access food.
At Land O’Lakes, Inc., we know that solving agriculture’s most pressing problems is a complex and enormous task, which is why we’re fostering collaboration across diverse industries and professions. In March of this year, Land O’Lakes created a platform to bring this important conversation to the national stage. Tracie McMillan -- author, National Geographic contributor and professor at New York University’s food studies program -- shared how her experience with field reporting around the globe taught her that the future of food is not only tech, it’s human. She starts the conversation with the question:
How do we make it easy for everyone to eat well?
In her presentation, Tracie explains that global hunger is largely caused by social, economic and political problems. Over consumption and excessive food waste by those who can afford to buy fresh, healthy foods only create a wider divide between the haves and have-nots. In fact, about 150,000 tons of food is tossed out in U.S. households each day, equivalent to nearly a third of the daily calories that each American ingests.
Tracie notes several ways individuals and institutions can start tackling these challenges, such as creating more public-private partnerships for food distribution networks and developing urban agriculture to meet the demand for fresh produce in under-served communities.
If more people take a proactive role in shaping our food system, both as eaters and as potential cultivators, we can ensure a future where food is sustainable, equitable and accessible for everyone.
For us to be truly Feeding Human Progress, we all need to be invested in building a food system that sustains both humanity and the planet.