Over one billion people today are undernourished. That means roughly one in seven people across the globe eat roughly one meal a day, if that.
Children in developing countries live with chronic hunger that stunts growth and weakens immune systems, while more and more people in wealthy countries grow obese. But there are starving children in wealthy countries too – families living on food stamps, making it impossible to ignore the inequality between the wealthy and the poor. As food becomes scarce, families are forced to eat cheaper, less nutritious meals, which can have devastating long-term affects on entire populations.
Within the past few years, we have witnessed food shortages like the global food crisis of 2008 and the East Africa food crisis of 2011. In Haiti in 2008, food prices rose to 50-100% of their normal price, which led to unrest, violence, and the ousting of the Prime Minister. Although some things like drought or infestations of vermin can be blamed for food shortages, many of the causes are man-made and avoidable.
Mary Robinson, formerly the first female President of Ireland and now the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, speaks at the University of California Global Food Systems Forum to discuss these issues with experts and fellow human rights activists.
Robinson warns that climate change will only make matters worse. Rising sea levels will swallow up potential farm lands while increasing temperatures will turn farm lands to deserts. Watch “Mary Robinson – Global Food Systems” to learn more about the challenges ahead.
When they began their studies at UC Santa Barbara in the 1980s, Greg Massa and Raquel Krach would never have imagined themselves where they are today: growing organic crops on a family farm outside of Chico, CA. But a tropical biology program in Costa Rica sparked an appreciation of the role of ecology in agriculture and kindled a love – for farming and for each other – that set a new trajectory for their lives.
In a world of advanced technology, science, and environmental concern, we visit students who have a vision for the future of farming and are working to create high-tech tools to help make agriculture more precise. We also take a look at plant genetics, biotechnology, and a unique couple – an organic farmer and a plant geneticist –both of whom work at UC Davis and strongly believe that the two traditionally opposing sides actually have the same goals.
There’s no question agriculture has a considerable environmental footprint.
In the third installment of the UCTV Prime series “9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming,” you’ll see how UC Davis researchers are working with farmers across the state to find ways to reduce that impact. We’ll talk about water, soil and air and we’ll take a look at the “Bovine Bubbles” that brought one UC Davis researcher international attention and “cleared the air” when it comes to how much gas cows really produce.
Agriculture isn’t just about sowing the land; it’s about finding solutions to modern problems facing our food supply. With farmland shrinking and a hungry population growing, what’s being done to ensure an abundant food supply that will be healthier, last longer, taste better?
In the second installment of the UCTV Prime series “9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming,” we’ll learn about UC Davis’ unprecedented “100-year experiment” and meet the first graduates of a brand new major: sustainable agriculture and food systems.