The Future of Food: How Will We Solve World Hunger?

The Future of Food: How Will We Solve World Hunger?

It's been a while since I last posted on here, but I can promise it's been because of a great cause. One in fact that I focus on from about 9:00am-5:00pm every day, my "day job" as the media relations manager at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). We've been working on a new initiative that I'm excited to share with all my readers now that it's finally launched because it bridges two things I love: food and helping people. FutureFood 2050 was created to start a broad dialogue on how science will deliver solutions needed to feed the world’s nine billion people by the year 2050. With the premise that the science of food is an essential ingredient for feeding the world sustainably, FutureFood 2050 will highlight the people and stories leading the way toward a healthier, safer and better nourished planet.

So often I've learned from working at IFT that science is missing from the conversation about food. Food is an emotional topic and the media makes it even harder for us to separate fact from opinion. FutureFood 2050 was started to give a voice to those often shy scientists who work behind the scenes to make our food accessible, safe, and reasonably-priced. IFT is the world's largest scientific society (no lobbying), that is made up of 18,000 individual (not company's) scientists, researchers, technologists and food professionals from 100 countries working in academia, industry and government.

While IFT has served for 75 years as an educational resource for people working within the food industry, FutureFood 2050 will  expand its mission to reach a broader audience through its interview series and upcoming documentary film. Under the direction of an independent editorial team, FutureFood 2050 will come to life over the coming months with 75 interviews featuring independent-minded thought leaders around the globe. At the same time, a documentary will be completed looking at how the science of food will contribute solutions to feeding the world. The documentary will provide the public with a closer, more intimate look at the science, stories and personalities addressing this challenge.

I for one am super excited that I'll get to be working with a Academy Award-nominated director and producer, Scott Hamilton Kennedy who is passionate about food and addressing the challenge head on about feeding the worlds growing population. Many people are unaware in the US that by 2050, within most of our lifetimes, the world's population is estimated to reach over 9 billion people by the World Health Organization. It's hard to imagine that while I'm full and happy in my little apartment, there are those not more than 10 miles away that go to bed hungry with empty stomachs and empty refrigerators. While it would be nice for each of us to have our own chicken-coop and garden, it's just not a reality. And to be honest, it's a bit elitist to think that a few community garden plots are what's going to solve hunger.

“Many films have focused on food issues, but they often neglect or misinterpret the role of science, sometimes relying on personal beliefs more than facts,” says Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the Academy Award-nominated film director overseeing the FutureFood 2050 documentary, scheduled for release in mid to late 2015.  “By looking at this challenge through the unbiased lens of science, our goal is to address critical questions surrounding food in a fair, transparent manner that will hopefully surprise, and maybe even transform us along the way.”

The FutureFood 2050 interview series will tackle topics across the food spectrum including global hunger, sustainability, health and nutrition and food safety. Since complex issues like feeding nine billion people by 2050 aren’t just about food, the interview series will also explore issues related to climate change, sustainability, politics, economic factors and more. Scientists—along with cultural influencers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, chefs, journalists and more—will be featured. The 75 articles will be bundled in monthly themes over this year and next, and are available at

What do you think needs to happen to feed the world's growing population? Let me know your thoughts below!

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