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Food of the Future, and the Future of Food
Alex Steffen, 26 Feb 07
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"The first freedom of man, I contend, is the freedom to eat" -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Perhaps because it is such a commonplace, defining the rhythms of our daily lives, many people who think seriously about the future have a tendency to dismiss food and food culture as a serious issue. That's too bad, not only because food is life, and questions of hunger and food supply still loom large on our planet (800 million people currently suffer from malnutrition, according to the FAO), but also because the growing, catching, selling and preparing of food creates some of our largest impacts on the planet and some of the largest conflicts between peoples.

The future of food is a gigantic issue, and that future is changing quickly.

That's why this week Worldchanging is focusing on the future of food. Sarah and I are at John Thackara's Doors of Perception conference in Delhi, India, which this year takes up questions of food and food culture and where they're headed: we'll be bringing you updates all week. But that's not all, because we will also have posts about new ideas and solutions and debates from a number of our regular contributors, and updates from some of our allies around the world, including Anna Lappé reporting from the first international Forum on Food Sovereignty in Mali.

How can we design food systems which are fair, sustainable and both efficient and holistic? How can we fill our plates without eating up our future?

Below is a round-up of many of the food-related posts from the Worldchanging archive. You may find it interesting to peruse as we add more to this section of our library in the coming days.

Terra Madre

Local Food for National Security

Spinach, Feedlots, and Knowing the Backstory

The Food Less Traveled

Eat What You Want, Pay What You Can

Pie Ranch

For the Worms: Vermiculture in Brooklyn

Creating a Community Supported Fishery

Using Cell Phones for Food Traceability

Sprouts in the City

More Crop Per Drop

School Cafeterias: Survival of the Fittest

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Potato

Genetic Engineering, Genetic Pollution and Saving the Seed Stock

Marine Reserves

Virtual Farmer's Market

Urban Agriculture in the Developing World

Have Your Fish and Eat It, Too

Green Water and Sustainable Agriculture

Wal-Mart Going Organic?

Extending the Garden

Edible Forests

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

Rice, Climate and "Effects Mitigation"

Edible Estates and Fallen Fruit

Conservation Agriculture in Africa

Biomimicry, Smart Breeding and Prairie-Like Farms

Going Organic in China

The Secret Lives of Vegetables

Growing Minds Growing Food

Mangrove Aquaculture

Vertical Farming

Zero Waste, Perpetual Food

Community Supported Agriculture for Urban Lifestyles

Watching Each Other, Watching Your Food


Food Force

Sustainable Seafood

Protecting African Biodiversity

Poor Farmers: Grow Organic, Grow Wealthy?

Postcards from the Global Food System #1

Postcards from the Global Food System #2

Postcards from the Global Food System #3

Sudan 1 Food Scare: Distant Thunder to Approaching Storm

To Feed the Future Green City, Invite the Earth to Dinner

Urban Sustainability, Megacity Leapfrogging

Investing in Food, Insuring Against Famine

Sustainable Restauranteuring

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Steve Ettlinger's new book is out today: Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats. It is a chronicle of a worldwide tour to trace all 39 Twinkie ingredients back to their origins.

This book could prove WorldChanging indeed. Aside from a glowing review in Newsweek, Ettlinger will the Luncheon speaker at the American Association of Cereal Chemists Spring Technical Conference. Chew that!

Posted by: dbs on 1 Mar 07

a missing piece of this pie would be Leaf for Life, They support people in developing countries with local strategies for improved nutrition. Based on the idea that nearly all food originates in the green leaves of plants.

Posted by: boone on 1 Mar 07



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