Food Tank: The Food Think Tank Launches January 10th

A bold new voice in the fight for health-based agriculture, alleviating hunger and poverty, stemming the tide of obesity, and improving nutrition and environmental sustainability [www.FoodTank.org]

There’s no doubt that the food system is broken. More than 1 billion people are obese, nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night, and at least 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.  We need solutions—from schools and hospitals to fields and forests and from boardrooms to parliaments. Food Tank: The Food Think Tank [www.FoodTank.org], founded by food and agriculture experts Ellen Gustafson and Danielle Nierenberg, is a bold new voice in bringing attention to these crucial issues. Food Tank, which launches on January 10, will help propel change by fostering the growing community of voices on food issues. Watch the trailer here: www.FoodTank.org.

Co-founders Gustafson and Nierenberg each have a vast network of followers and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. On January 10, their highly anticipated and latest endeavor will be marked with the launch of the Food Tank website (www.FoodTank.org). The site will be a heavily interactive global resource for food and agriculture related issues and a home base for connecting those involved in the food system, from producers and consumers to policy-makers and activists.

Roughly a half-century after the Green Revolution—the first systematic, large-scale attempt to reduce poverty and hunger throughout the world—a large share of the human family is still chronically without food, reliable income, and access to education. And over the last 30 years, the western food system has been built to promote over-consumption of a few consolidated commodities and has failed to be the harbinger of health as it spreads around the world. The epidemic of obesity, in industrialized and developing countries alike, is increasing the risks of diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and other maladies.

In addition, we waste vast amounts of food—more than one third of all food worldwide is wasted, or 1.3 billion tons annually. In the developing world, roughly 40 percent of all food goes to waste as a result of pests, disease, and improper storage.

Food Tank is planning a 2013 Change the Food System summit, conducting on-the-ground research both domestically and internationally, preparing research reports and books, highlighting road maps for sustainable agricultural systems, and building an innovations database. And the Food Tank website will be posting new research and insights daily.

If we start now, there is an opportunity to develop a better vision for the global food system. Fixing the system requires changing the conversation and finding ways that make food production—and consumption—more economically, environmentally, and socially just and sustainable.

The solutions, both big and small, are out there—in market garden projects in rural Niger, on rooftop gardens in Vietnam, at research institutes in Taiwan, and in individual communities all over the world. Unfortunately, these projects are not getting the attention and the investment they need. This needs to change. Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, launching January 10, is prepared to take on that challenge!

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