Friday, October 12, 2018

Agriculture on Center Stage--Awards, Events, Communication

With so many award shows on television, it is surprising there is no award show specifically honoring award shows. But for those involved with feeding the world, the highlight comes with the annual World Food Prize--what some call the "Nobel Prize" of agriculture. 

On October 18, Dr. Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro will receive the 2018 World Food Prize for their global leadership in elevating maternal and child undernutrition to a central issue at national and international levels. The week-long gathering in Des Moines, Iowa, will involve many events, including the Borlaug Dialogue—Rise to the Challenge.

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology is actively involved with the proceedings, including the October 17 morning event (cosponsored with CropLife Foundation) honoring the 2018 Borlaug CAST Communication Award winner, Marty Matlock. Click here for details and an invitation to the event

Dr. Matlock's research focuses on technologies and processes to increase the resilience of ecosystems. His interdisciplinary work has been praised and honored, and he coordinates a variety of programs at the University of Arkansas. Matlock will speak at the event with the topic "The Promise of Prosperity from the Land in the 21st Century." A panel discussion--hosted in conjunction with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the American Society of Agronomy--will follow: "Global Sustainability for a Vibrant Earth."

BCCA Winners Continue to Make an Impact

If an award includes the words "Borlaug" and "communication," it has to live up to the hype. The Borlaug CAST Communication Award has done just that. The honor is presented annually for outstanding achievement by a scientist, engineer, technologist, or other professional working in the agricultural, environmental, or food sectors for contributing to the advancement of science in the public policy arena.

CAST has sponsored the award for the past nine years, and the recipients--from last year's winner, Jayson Lusk, to the first laureate in 2010, Akin Adesina--have been beacons of research, scholarship, and communication in the ag/science world.

All of the laureates have shown that science and research are important, but they also know that communication is essential. They "walk the walk" in various ways as they promote global food security. Check their websites and social media activities to gain from their insights.
For example: 

Jayson Lusk, the 2017 laureate, uses blogs and other forms of media to advocate for science as he explains how innovation and growth in agriculture are critical for food security and global progress. 

Alison Van Eenennaam, 2014 winner, was recently featured in a profile that points out her prominence in the fields of livestock breeding and biotechnology--and her tireless advocacy for getting the science right

Akinwumi Adesina, a strong proponent for agriculture in Africa, was the 2010 BCCA winner and selected as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate.

by dan gogerty    

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Food Waste--It's Like Stealing

Food waste continues to garner plenty of attention from the media, organizations, and the public. Restaurant chains and grocery outlets are trying to attack the problem, and some companies are attempting new ways to recycle waste—making fiber, insulation, and even beer products. The issue is now considered one of the key components in reducing hunger—and many think waste reduction programs will also help with environmental, health, and sustainability issues. As Pope Francis said, "Food waste is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry."

This site highlights 27 organizations in New York that focus on food loss and waste. And some cities—such as Austin, Texas—are banning restaurants from throwing out food waste

In recent years, the tech industry has turned to the power of mobile apps to collect and synchronize data to fight food waste and curb global hunger. These five apps are disrupting the way we produce, transport, and use food, helping to prevent spoilage and stop wasteful behavior.

Another major factor is the misconception about what all of those dates on food-package labels—“sell by,” “use by,” and “best if used by”—really mean. Ninety percent of Americans misinterpret the dates on labelsaccording to a recent study from the Natural Resources Defense Counciland throw out food that could still be consumed or frozen for later use.

If expiration dates aren’t a reliable gauge of food spoilage, how does a consumer know what to keep and what to toss? This CAST video explains the confusion, and this article offers solutions for consumers regarding food safety and spoilage.

In an effort to simplify food purchases and reduce food waste, grocery manufacturers and retailers launched an industry-wide effort to adopt standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products. As reported by Sara Wyant in AgriPulse, the new system proposes just two standard phrasesrather than the ten different date labels now on packages.

"Gee, Wallywhat's food waste?"
A drive-thru of the internet will bring you a smorgasbord of statistics regarding world hunger and food waste, but one line that caught my attention made we wonder how (and if) things have changed since I was a youngster on the farm. According to the National Institute of Health, American consumers waste 50% more food now than in 1970. Click here for the blog Less Food Waste in the "Good Old Days"?

For a comprehensive, science-based look at the issue, click here for free access to CAST Issue Paper 62, Food Loss and Waste.

by dan gogerty (top pic from, middle pic from, and bottom pic from lessonbucket.jpg)