With the global demand for calories expected to grow by almost 50% over the next 40 years, the question on many minds is how to produce enough food to feed the world population. Though crop yields in the United States have grown in the last decade, they must continue to grow — and some farms are starting to use precision agriculture to do just that.
The urban farming movement is going strong, with organizers worldwide working to bring food production into urban areas. Urban food production improves city dwellers’ access to fresh food, promotes food justice, and reduces transportation costs. Check out three up-and-coming urban farming projects tailor-made to suit the needs of their communities.
A project called Just One Tree has a singular but ambitious goal: to make sure San Francisco can grow all the lemons it consumes. To do this, the community will need to produce 461 tons of lemons annually—that’s a lot of lemons! But Dr. Isabel Wade, founder and executive director of Just One Tree, thinks it’s possible. She’s put together a program to encourage residents to plant new lemon trees and register existing ones to meet the goal.
Food hubs are a crucial, but often invisible, part of the local food system. They help small farms grow by offering a combination of production, distribution, and marketing services. There are now 236 food hubs in the U.S., with more popping up all the time.
Now that the five winners of the Mayors Challenge have been announced, we would like to check in on some of the runners-up. Hillsboro, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Knoxville, Tennessee all proposed programs addressing fuel and food issues in their communities.
U.S. ending stocks numbers for corn and soybeans have become available for year end 2012, and the results are stunning. According to the data, we will have only 19 days of corn in storage this year and only 16 days of soybeans. For soybeans, this is the lowest stocks-to-use ratio on record; for corn it’s the second lowest.
Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Anna Lappe and Danielle Nierenberg, Sustainable America has created the following infographic to explain how food is wasted and lost around the world, and what can be done about it.
This article was originally published in Scientific American, and is republished on the Sustainable America blog with the permission of the author, Dr. Michael E. Webber. “Examining our food supply through the lens of energy use reveals opportunities for smart policies, innovative technologies and new dietary choices that can potentially solve food and energy problems together. The same steps would also make our bodies, and our ecosystems, healthier.”