Opinion Pieces Examine Global Food System Challenges, Including Waste, Access, Pricing
The Hill: Wasted food is a factor that remains noticeably absent from the climate change discourse
Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), ranking member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, and Michael Shank, communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network
“…Globally, nearly 30 percent of all agricultural land produces food that is ultimately lost or wasted. … Waste appears throughout the supply chain, from produce damaged at farms to retail packages that don’t properly store food, to our very own eating habits that lead us to discard food before it has passed its prime. And when this food goes uneaten, we waste the water and energy needed to produce it, harvest it, and bring it to market. … Beyond the obvious environmental impacts, the socioeconomic consequences are equally disastrous. … We must employ every effort to retool our food system … The reforms we need are entirely within reach, provided we have the political stomach, if you will, to make sure all the world’s mouths are fed. The fix is achievable. It starts with reducing and recycling and requires a keen focus on solving the logistical challenges of getting appropriate food to those communities in need…” (8/7).
Project Syndicate: The High Cost of Food Monopolies in Africa
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, co-founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution, managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, founder of LEAP Africa, and a 2018 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow
“In May, global food prices increased 1.2 percent, reaching their highest level since October 2017. This upward trajectory is having a disproportionate impact in Africa, where the share of household income spent on food is also rising. To ensure food security, governments must work quickly to reverse these trends, and one place to start is by policing the producers who are feeding the frenzy. … [T]he primary cause is poor public policy: African governments have failed to curb the power of agribusinesses and large food producers, a lack of oversight that has made local agriculture less competitive. In turn, prices for most commodities have risen. … Reducing the prices of staple food by even a modest 10 percent … by tackling anticompetitive behavior in these sectors, or by reforming regulations that shield them from competition, could lift 270,000 people in Kenya, 200,000 in South Africa, and 20,000 in Zambia out of poverty. … Ultimately, it is the responsibility of political leaders to protect consumers from collusion and price-fixing…” (8/7).