Malnutrition is a significant threat to children around the world who do not have proper access to nutritious food. In fact, the World Health Organization claims that malnutrition is the world’s greatest threat to public health. This condition starves the body’s ability to repair itself and greatly increases the risk of infection and disease. According to a report by UNICEF, almost 20 million children under the age of five suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which accounts for over one million deaths in children each year. To address this major global crisis, DuPont is working with UNICEF to feed malnourished children in countries like Sudan with “Ready-to-Eat Therapeutic Food”. This high-protein peanut-based paste does not require water and is delivered in a ready-to-use packet. Made with DuPont emulsifier technology that prevents oiling to provide a longer product shelf life, UNICEF has delivered ready-to-use food to hundreds of thousands of children in Sudan and other countries around the world.
To find out more about DuPont’s commitments to food security in the African continent as well as around the world, take a look at the Infographic below or by visiting this web page.
What is the relationship between climate change and food availability? Marc Gunther, moderator of the Global Food Security Index launch in Washington, DC and contributing editor at Fortune magazine, wrote a blog post that focused on the effects of extreme weather on food security. Droughts, wildfires and hurricanes have direct impact on the supply and cost of food. Are we mitigating climate change or are we adapting to global warming? Read about Gunther’s take on his blog: http://www.marcgunther.com/2012/07/15/corn-catastrophes-and-climate/
DuPont along with many other companies, NGOs and organizations are hard at work researching ways to feed the world’s ever-growing population. One of the ways to have an immediate effect on food security is addressing global food waste. A recent study conducted by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) reported that “roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year.”
The study revealed that on a per-capita basis, industrialized countries waste more food than the developing world. Developing countries end up losing food post-harvest due to poor infrastructure, storage and packaging.
The issue of food waste reaches beyond uneaten food to environmental stewardship, and infrastructure. If the world can solve the problem of food waste, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut down on water usage, decrease stress on the land, and allow producers and consumers to save money.
According to a recent report conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40% of food (about $165 billion worth) in the United States goes to waste. The report pointed to a variety of causes of waste in the U.S. such as oversized portions in meals, overstocked restaurants and grocery stores, and the overall affordability of food products that consumers buy. NRDC’s research highlights that up to one-in-seven truckloads of perishables delivered to U.S. grocery stores is thrown away.
In 2009, an UN Food and Agriculture Organization project in Afghanistan reduced post-harvest food waste from about 20% to less than 2% by installing 18,000 household-sized metallic silos. These silos protected harvested food from wildlife, bacteria, harsh weather and other elements that historically ruined produce.
The NRDC proposes a number of simple solutions to address food waste including:
- Re-evaluate and update food labels to clarify the significant difference between“sell-by” and “use-by” dates.
- Change “buy-one-get-one-free” promotions to “buy-one-get-one-later” coupons.
- Discourage the use of food trays in cafeteria which have led people to bring less food to their table.
- Promote smaller portion sizes at a discounted prize in restaurants.
Addressing food waste at every stage of the production and distribution process is vital as our world grapples with food security. What are some of your ideas on solving this growing global issue?