We are launching a new series, Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations, to highlight approaches, technologies, and ideas that have the potential to radically advance sustainable and nutritious food security globally. The Global Food for Thought News Brief and blog will regularly feature the latest news and events regarding these big ideas and emerging innovations. Contact us to share your thoughts and ideas for this series.
How Cows Are Becoming Smart Connected Products
A Texas-based startup wants to bring universal connectivity to cows by feeding them electronic pills that will sit in their stomachs and transmit their vital signs to farmers, heading off costly livestock illnesses or death. Electronically checking cattle’s vitals could cut down on what the USDA estimates is nearly $2.4 billion a year in losses from animal illnesses that lead to death.
The ‘Super’ Banana that Fights for Truth, Justice and Healthy Levels of Vitamin A
Each year, vitamin A deficiency inflicts between 250,000 and 500,000 young people with early-life blindness, and in half of those cases, it also brings death. Scientists are now genetically engineering “super” bananas that are fortified with alpha- and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. The project is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Young Foresters Help Improve Forests' Food Access, Economic Influence
Patches of trees outside of forests, even in urban areas, can be important ecosystems, providing many of the same resources and opportunities as large forested areas, especially in terms of food sources. Young foresters, especially in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are taking the lead in studying how these patches can improve food and nutrition in communities.
Global Land Prices and the Future of Farming
We already produce enough food to feed 9 billion people, but an estimated 40 per cent of it is lost in the production chain. Clearly, there is room for efficiency. And that has less to do with land purchasing and more with investments in farming like sustainable irrigation systems and the adoption of military-led technology in drone surveillance and remote soil monitoring.