Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the work is part of a broader effort to boost the levels of vitamins and minerals in crops many Africans rely on for the bulk of their diets. The Seattle-based foundation has committed more than $160 million to these so-called biofortification programs.
The approach epitomizes Gates' belief in the power of science to combat hunger, and mirrors many of the giant philanthropy's other investments in improved seeds and fertilizers. But some agricultural experts are skeptical that tweaking nutrient levels and other tech-heavy approaches will make much of a dent in malnutrition, because they ignore the complex social, political and economic roots of the problem.
Food-price inflation reduces the purchasing power of poor families, forces them to reallocate their household spending and reduce their dietary diversity. In turn, this leads to increased micronutrient malnutrition, ...
"“There’s a lot of talk these days about mass-farming, genetically modified crops, and food additives, but the heirloom tomato is as nature intended, a great way to represent what back-to-basics farming can bring," Klein says. "Each variety has its own flavor profile, its own different texture and level of sweetness, as nature intended."
If by "nature" you mean human beings who selected and continue to maintain those varieties, then I agree 100%.
“We have many ideas,” said Phrang. “Following Jokkmokk, and with our united statement, we can now approach forthcoming global events such Rio+20, Terra Madre 2012 and the 2014 proposed UN High Level Meeting on Indigenous Issues. It is essential that more grassroots voices are heard in these meetings - as we heard at Jokkmokk.”
"In a special issue of the Journal of Development Effectiveness, Agnes Quisumbing, Neha Kumar, and Akhter Ahmed examined the impact of two anti-poverty programs—food and cash transfer programs and the introduction of new agricultural technologies—on the well-being of rural men and women in Bangladesh."
I gave up on the Freakonomics blog a while back, but the headline tempted me back. I wish I hadn't bothered. To confuse biofortification and plain old-fashioned fortification is bad enough, but there's lots more here that smacks of shallow thought.
Billboards a concernFiji TimesWHILE the National Food Policy for Schools has been established, the Consumer Council of Fiji says the luring impact of unhealthy food advertising outside the school system is still a matter of concern.
I will never forget holding my newborn baby in my arms watching a television report on the 1987 famine in Ethiopia – hearing the haunting cries of babies whose hunger could not be met by their anguished mothers.
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