Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

7/24/2015

This grocery for ugly food is good for us

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

The world will be a hungry one come 2050, so the myth goes, says Jonathan Foley over at Ensia. Foley says that the myth usually goes like this: The world’s population will grow to 9 billion by mid-century, putting substantial demands on the planet’s food supply. To meet these growing demands, we will need to grow almost twice as much food by 2050 as we do today. And that means we’ll need to use genetically modified crops and other advanced technologies to produce this additional food. It’s a race to feed the world, and we had better get started.

Foley says this myth is just that, a solution created when all the information is not yet available. By doing simple math, he points out that we would only need an increase of 28 percent in food production to meet future food needs. The reason why we would require double is because of increased demand from developing countries such as China and India.

While the prospect of increased world hunger is frightening, the answer isn't in GMOs. It's changing our diets to be less meat-intensive. It's decreasing food waste. There is more than one solution.

Noemi Sosa shops at Daily Table, a nonprofit supermarket in Dorchester, Mass. Jesse Costa/WBUR
One of the most exciting for me is this one from Trader Joe's ex-president, who opened a store that sells aging food and cheap meals. Why would anyone want to buy there? Because "it's selling canned vegetables two for $1 and a dozen eggs for 99 cents. Potatoes are 49 cents a pound. Bananas are 29 cents a pound."

It's food donated by donated by food wholesalers and markets. It's all perfectly good food, just that it's not pretty, it's getting too ripe, or any of the myriad of reasons why food doesn't get on the grocery stall. Rather than land in the dumpster, this food is getting to where it will be appreciated.

Good news to me, you?



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