The Future of Food
Just last week I attended the 28th EFFoST (The European Federation of Food, Science and Technology) conference in Uppsala, Sweden and did some notes.
Today it is estimated that the world population might rise to 10.5bln inhabitants by 2050. As some of us are starving already, it would mean that we would need to produce 75% more food! Yet, we are already using 90% of the arable land on the planet. Since we are losing huge amounts of land due to soil depletion every year, and we don't want to cultivate all parts of the remaining rain forests, we need to seek for solutions.
First of all, we are wasting so much food right now. This can be due to bad storage conditions or inadequate planning and logistics. An average South-European family will let 30% of their fruits go bad! It has been speculated, that if Europe would save all their wasted food, they could feed the entire Africa. Don't buy too much and store your food properly - simple!
In 2050, 75% of people will live in cities. This means the food we eat has to travel great distances before we get it on our plate. Transportation costs energy and money, and produces waste. We surely cannot produce that much more - the resources of our planet are limited. One solution could be going local - that's where our Smart Herb Garden comes in, offering to grow herbs yourself, effortlessly.
I truly enjoyed the speech given by Dr Paul Cornillon, the Senior Vice President of Arla Foods. He said that he has a difficult time explaining dairy farmers that in 2050 their cow herd might need to be situated on the rooftop of a 200-story skyscraper in the center of a city. "Just kidding! Or maybe not?" he stated. Imagining cows on rooftops may be still difficult, but you cannot say the same for gardens. Gardens can and will be everywhere! To nourish the human race in 2050, every wall, every corner and every rooftop has to be made into a garden!
We need more plants to provide us with food and clean air. We need to start understanding that food is something sacred. We need to learn how our food is produced, how it travels, how much effort has been put into producing it. So what can you do to be prepared for the future? Start a garden! Plant a seed! Acknowledge that the things we consider cheap and accessible (food, air, water) are actually the most valuable resources we have. The fact that you are reading this already means you care. Thanks for that!