Rebooting food: Finding new ways to feed the future

U.S. | 5/24/2018 | Thin Lei Win
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VIENNA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Banana trees that fit in a test tube. Burgers made without a cow in sight. Fish farmed in the desert. Robots picking fruit.

Welcome to the brave new world of food, where scientists are battling a global time-bomb of climate change, water scarcity, population growth and soaring obesity rates to find new ways to feed the future.

People - Food - Life - Supporters - Second

With one in nine people already short of enough food to lead a healthy, active life, supporters pushing for a Second Green Revolution argue without major changes hunger will become one of the biggest threats to national security and human health.

To tackle this looming crisis, scientists and agricultural experts are looking to the future - and back to the past - to find innovative ways to produce food.

Billions - Farmers - Consumers - Battle

But they admit getting billions of farmers globally - and consumers - to change will be a battle.

Bruce Campbell, director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) - a global network of scientists - said agriculture had to change to meet global goals on climate change and ending poverty and hunger.

Revolution - Agriculture - Food - System - Decade

“You need a revolution in the agriculture and food system within the next decade because without it, we’re never going to achieve any of the really important (global) goals that we’ve set,” Campbell told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

A visit to a series of white, low-rise United Nations-backed laboratories 35 km (22 miles) outside Austria’s ornate capital Vienna provides a glimpse into the food of tomorrow’s world.

Laboratories - Greenhouses - Machines - Equipment - Plants

Here, in laboratories and greenhouses packed with genetic sequencing machines, robotic equipment and plants and insects of all sizes, scientists are using nuclear technology to stop insects reproducing and to spur disease-resistant banana trees.

Sub-Saharan Africa has for decades struggled to control bloodsucking tsetse flies that kill more than 3 million cattle and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: U.S.
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