237.130 A3 Research

Inadequate Food Distribution Systems http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/problems/inadequate-food-distribution-systems 

Seems like a viable source from a non-profit, student-run education forum. It is cited, and published under MIT, therefore is most likely trustworthy as a source.

“The amount of food calories being produced fulfills and exceeds the minimum amount needed per person. However, because of waste and loss, the amount of food calories available for consumption falls short of that minimum.”
“The main problems with the current distribution system are the lack of markets, the inadequacy of transportation to markets, and the inability to afford the costs of production and consumption.”
“It is estimated that 25%-50% of all food produced is wasted.  In India about 7% annually of grain and 30% of fruit and vegetables produced are wasted due to lack of proper storage systems (Murthy, 2010).”
“In developed nations, the governments often heavily subsidize the agricultural industry to make it economically viable. However, because of the heavier budget constraints on developing countries, they fail to alleviate this production burden. Therefore, even with a large production of food, rampant hunger still exists because of the inability to purchase it.” 
“The root causes of poor distribution include the lack of infrastructure such as markets and transportation routes, unsustainable prices driven by corruption and waste, inefficiency in markets,  and poverty.”

Genetically Modified Crops – http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/genetically-modified-crops

“The efficiency of land use is a significant issue: by 2050, the global population is expected to rise above 9 billion, and the existing amount of arable land is expected to decrease significantly due to anthropogenic climate change and urbanization (FAO).”
“If everyone in the world used as much land per person as the average United States citizen, we “would need four Earths” to sustain ourselves (Cribb).”
“Consequently, conserving land to produce more food is a necessity for any long term plan. Biotechnology firms claim that transgenic crops promise more food with less land. GMO crops have been found to increase yields, with a 10 percent change to a genetically modified herbicide tolerant crop yielding a roughly 1.7 percent increase in productivity (USDA). Biotechnology companies state that such varieties of crops will improve the livelihood of farmers around the world (Cummins).”  
The benefits of using GMOs is clear in terms of the growing population but I think that in today’s society we cannot just rely on the use of GMOs in future, we need to curb our waste problem as well. 
“GM pesticide-producing crops are engineered to produce Bt toxins, a crystal protein naturally synthesized by the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that these toxins do not activate in the human gut, and pose no risk to human health (EPA).”
“Although Bt is lethal to many insects, multiple scientific studies have found them to be harmless to wild mammals, birds, pets, and humans; Bt endotoxins may as well be considered “biopesticides” (Sharma, 2010).”
“The European corn borer, a widespread crop pest, claims 7 percent of the world’s corn supply each year. Use of Bt corn has saved US farmers in Iowa and Nebraska alone up to 1.7 billion dollars in fighting this pest over the past 14 years, when compared to non-Bt variants (Hutchinson).”
“Spanish farmers who have implemented Bt maize have found a 10 percent increase in yields, with up to 20 percent increases in borer-infested areas (Europa).”
“Some estimates indicate that if “50% of maize, oil seed rape, sugar beet, and cotton grown in the EU were GM varieties, pesticide in the EU/year would decrease by 14.5 million kg of formulated product”, and “there would be a reduction of 7.5 million hectares sprayed, which would save 20.5 million liters of diesel and result in a reduction of approximately 73,000 tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere” (Phipps).”
“Biotechnology today is largely driven by agricultural corporations such as Monsanto, whose seeds are expensive to poorer farmers (Ho). But GMOs may increase land productivity in Africa, where 49 percent of soil is heavily degraded (Terrafrica). They could be engineered to endure harsher conditions and be less susceptible to climate changes such as drought, a leading cause of food insecurity in Africa. Certain types of native crops may be engineered to increase yields. This all might be done in the future, but it has not been done yet. Additionally, GMOs still represent too many unknowns to be a solid basis for a plan to benefit third world farmers.”
“The most condemning research done on such organisms is the work of renowned scientist Arpad Pusztai, who found evidence of intestinal damage caused by genetically modified potatoes (Randerson). His funding was suspended for his publication of preliminary results, and therefore the study was never completed (Randerson). However, numerous later studies found that GM crops that have passed existing safety reviews are not harmful to human health (Academic review, AFNZA).”
“Cross-pollination with the wild type of GM species may lead to genetic contamination of the wild type, which could alter local ecosystems. Genes are difficult to control, and wild types of certain plants have been found to contain transgenic genes.”
“However, cross-pollination can be minimized through measures such as buffer zones between GMO and non-GMO fields, as well as careful field planning (GMO-compass); the problem with cross-pollination may be minimized with proper planning and oversight.”
“Bt expressed in transgenic organisms is also toxic to a variety of helpful insects, including natural pollinators and pest predators. Monarch butterflies, a chief pollinator in North America, are highly susceptible to Bt poisoning, and will occasionally feed on corn plants (Pimentel).”
“The introduction of Bt crops has also led to the rise of secondary non-target pests as major scourges.”
“The introduction of such herbicide tolerant plants at first decreased herbicide use, but afterwards increased its usage and scope. Weeds have become more and more resistant to herbicides, prompting farmers to use a wider variety and larger quantity of them (Lim).”
“The influence of agricultural corporate giants on the availability of GM seeds may lead to farmer exploitation.”
Until “fit-for-the-purpose” transgenic seeds are available for distribution to farmers without threatening them with a cycle of debt, transgenic seeds represent a step away from greater food security in the Third World.”

Fraser, Evan. The Need For More Equitable Food Distribution. Feeding Nine Billion, 2014. Web. https://feedingninebillion.com/video/need-more-equitable-food-distribution

“The US uses about 40% of its corn for ethanol[7] we have a conflict of “food versus fuel”[8] [9]and more food would be eaten if the US dropped this policy. But many disagree. For instance, producing ethanol only uses the sugar in the corn and leaves protein rich by-products that are fed to animals[10]. So it is not as if these grains, the vast majority of which would have been used for livestock anyways, have been taken out of the food system.” 

Hunger Statistics. World Food Programme, 2016. https://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats

“Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.”
“The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.”
“If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.”

Royte, Elizabeth. How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger. National Geographic, 2016. Web Article. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/03/global-food-waste-statistics/

“Every year some six billion pounds of U.S. fruits and vegetables go unharvested or unsold, often for aesthetic reasons.”
MM8423_150902_0731_Final-uncropped.adapt.1190.1
Finke, Brian. National Geographic, 2016.
“In developing nations much is lost postharvest for lack of adequate storage facilities, good roads, and refrigeration. In comparison, developed nations waste more food farther down the supply chain, when retailers order, serve, or display too much and when consumers ignore leftovers in the back of the fridge or toss perishables before they’ve expired.”
“Wasting food takes an environmental toll as well. Producing food that no one eats—whether sausages or snickerdoodles—also squanders the water, fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, fuel, and land needed to grow it.” 
Globally a year’s production of uneaten food guzzles as much water as the entire annual flow of the Volga, Europe’s most voluminous river. Growing the 133 billion pounds of food that retailers and consumers discard in the United States annually slurps the equivalent of more than 70 times the amount of oil lost in the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to American Wasteland author Jonathan Bloom. These staggering numbers don’t even include the losses from farms, fishing vessels, and slaughterhouses. If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the U.S.”
“Feeding the scraps to nonruminant animals, such as pigs, recycles their nutrients and eliminates some of the methane that food would generate in a landfill.”
“With governments fretting over how to feed more than nine billion people by 2050, a dominant narrative calls for increasing global food production by 70 to 100 percent. But agriculture already represents one of the greatest threats to planetary health. It is responsible for 70 percent of the planet’s freshwater withdrawals, 80 percent of the world’s tropical and subtropical deforestation, and 30 to 35 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.” 
“As the population grows and emerging economies develop a taste for meat and dairy products, which require huge inputs of grain and other resources for relatively little caloric gain, this toll will worsen. But converting more wildlands to farm fields may not be necessary, some experts say. If we slash waste, change our diet to eat less meat and dairy, divert fewer food crops to biofuels, and boost yields on underperforming acres, we may be able to feed more than nine billion people a healthy diet without trashing more rain forests, plowing up more prairies, or wiping out more wetlands.”
Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s – ““Hunger and wasted food,” Rauch says, “are two problems that can have one solution.””

Smith, Roff. How Reducing Food Waste Could Ease Climate Change. National Geographic 2015. Web. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150122-food-waste-climate-change-hunger/

“Workers harvest celery in Greenfield, California. The energy that goes into the production, harvest, transportation, and packaging of wasted food produces more than 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
“The dividends of avoiding food waste can be historic. We produce enough food to feed everyone on our planet today and the 2.5 billion more people to come in the next 35 years. We have to waste less to feed more. Farming already uses 38 percent of our ice-free land, compared to just 2 percent for cities, and uses 70 percent of our fresh water. We can’t keep growing more food, and continuing to waste as much, to feed more people. The environmental dividends are no less significant: lower climate emissions from a major source and more water efficiency to combat growing water scarcity.
We have to think differently. We can’t take today’s sophisticated refrigerated truck-trailer systems available in the U.S. and Europe and expect they can be immediately adopted in emerging countries. In many cases, the roads in these countries can’t accommodate large truck systems, the technical skill is not yet present to support the systems, and the economy can’t yet afford the systems. So we have to scale the technology to the local needs—smaller systems, fewer features, more affordable.”

 

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