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The Eat Local Challenge is Back!


The Eat Local Challenge in New Orleans returns for the third time

Local produce offered in New Orleans.

The third annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge will be going on until the end of June, Gambit reports. According to its website, NOLA Locavores, an organization dedicated to promoting the health, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits of a locally sourced diet, will be hosting this month-long event.

Registrants who participate in this event are asked to spend thirty days eating food produced within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans. The challenge has four levels of strictness that attendees can choose, based on how much they want to commit to a local food diet.

For a $25 fee, participants can attend events such as a winemaking workshop with Brewstock, the Community Gardens Bike Tour, a gelato making class with La Divina, and more. Notable perks also include discounts on local produce and meat, an invitation to the 2nd Annual NOLA Scavenger Hunt, and a spot for the Kick Off Party and Finale Party. Restaurants involved in this challenge will offer dishes featuring local ingredients.

Frank Fekete, the owner of Frank Fekete Farms, told The Daily Meal that he will be participating in the local food markets. He expects bell peppers and heirloom tomatoes to be popular among buyers during the challenge.

Through this event, the emphasis on local food continues.


An Overview of the 100-Mile Diet

The 100-mile diet is a great way to learn about your local farming community, get healthier, and choose a sustainable way of eating. It is not quite as serious as eating a hyperlocavore, zero-mile diet, but it is a great step towards a more sustainable lifestyle and will dramatically lower your carbon footprint.

What is the 100-mile diet?

The concept of the 100-mile diet forces a mental shift from eating globally to think more locally to ensure everything you eat is within a 100 mile radius of your table. Though going cold turkey into eating within such a restricted geographical region may not be for everyone you can start with a single family meal. This forces you to research and explore what's actually grown close to your home and you&rsquoll begin to appreciate not only the bounty of your local region, but the major implications of eating foods from around the world.

Not sure what 100 miles looks like on your dietary map? Use this online mapping tool to find your 100 miles.

The benefits of eating a 100-mile diet

Choosing to consume food that is produced within 100 miles of your home comes with all of the benefits of local, seasonal eating: more flavorful foods, smaller environmental footprint, better health, and support for local farmers. But there&rsquos more to it than that. A 100-mile diet comes with these extra benefits:

  • Weight loss: Though not a guarantee, by eating whole foods (lots of vegetables, fruits, and grains), you may find that you&rsquoll lose weight. Processed foods are often packed with fat, salt, and simple carbohydrates, all which can contribute to weight gain. Unless you&rsquove got a food packaging plant near your home making pre-made dinners, cutting all these, as well as sugary beverages, out of your diet, will ensure you consume higher quality of food and weight loss may soon follow.
  • New flavor sensations: If you&rsquove limited your diet to what is available in the local grocery store, you may have missed the amazing fruits and vegetables that can be grown near your home! Often these native, heritage foods have unique and amazing tastes, unlike the mono-cultured species grown on mega farms.
  • Hyper awareness: Though you&rsquoll certainly learn more about the kinds of foods grown within your region by shopping at a farmer&rsquos market or participating in a CSA or food co-op, the lessons you&rsquoll learn about where food comes from and what can be produced in your area by eating a 100-mile diet will be much more tangible and lasting.

How to get start finding (and eating!) 100-mile food

Want some ideas on how to start eating a 100-mile diet? These basic steps will put you on the right track:

  • Start simple: Whether it&rsquos inviting your neighbors over for a meal made entirely from your garden produce or going scavenging with your kids to produce an afternoon picnic, there are many small ways to explore eating 100-mile foods. Just like Meatless Mondays, why not try for 100-mile Saturdays?
  • Connect with local farmers: Whether you shop at a farmers market, participate in a CSA, or get together with a food co-op group, by connecting personally with your local farmers, you&rsquoll have a much easier time finding the food that you need. If all else fails, drive around until you find a farmer who grows what you&rsquore looking for and then knock on their door! They may be quite happy to see you.
  • Grow your own: Having a garden in your back yard (or a victory garden in your front yard!) is a great way to eat locally, even if you only grow 5 vegetables. Plus, it&rsquoll get you back into nature which is very healthy for your body and soul.
  • Buy bulk and preserve: When shopping, buy full flats of fruits or big bushels of veggies and then preserve them through canning, jamming, pickling, and freezing. Find out all about food saving through the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • Relax: You don&rsquot have to cultivate a 100-mile diet over night, so don&rsquot let this new way of thinking take over your life. Relax, enjoy the journey, and have fun knowing you&rsquore doing a good thing for you and the planet.

If you need a little more guidance, here are a few online communities that provide assistance and educational resources for those looking to cultivate a 100-mile diet:


The Great American Takeout Is Happening Again A Year After Its First Campaign Began

Update, March 23, 2021: Last year, The Great American Takeout campaign was started to promote purchasing food from local restaurants to help them get sales during the pandemic. Now, a year after the campaign was started it's returning again and you can get involved by posting on social media and raising money in the process.

For every post on Wednesday, March 24 using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, Smithfield Culinary will make a $10 donation (a $5 increase from last year's donation) up to $100,000 to CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees and

NRAEF: National Restaurant Association and Educational Foundation. The money goes directly to food and beverage industry service workers and their families.

To get involved you can post a photo of The Great American Takeout logo to social media with the hashtag in the caption, or can order from one of your favorite local restaurants and use the hashtag in a photo of your food.

Update, April 14, 2020: It's Tuesday once again, which means it's time to participate in The Great American Takeout by ordering your food to-go from a restaurant. In case you needed something to entice you to participate besides delicious food, the campaign is now giving you the chance to win free gift cards.

Here's how it works: Order take-out tonight and post a photo of it with the hashtags #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and #Sweepstakes, and tag @TheGATakeout on Twitter or @thegreatamericantakeout on Instagram.

One person will win free takeout for a year in the form of a $5,000 gift card, while 100 more winners will receive a $50 gift card each, all courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company. Even if you don't win, Rich Products will donate $5 to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund&mdashup to $25,000 total&mdashfor every social media post tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on April 14, so it's worth it either way. Happy eating!

Update, March 31, 2020: For the second week in a row, restaurants are urging customers to participate in The Great American Takeout. Participating couldn't be easier: Just order your favorite meal for pick-up or delivery. You can spread the word by announcing your dinner (or lunch!) plans with the hashtag #thegreatamericantakeout.

Personally, I'll be ordering from my favorite local spot. they even delivered me a margarita the other day. It doesn't get better than that!

Original, March 24, 2020 11:13 a.m.: The food industry has been hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as people are urged to social distance and some cities and states are requiring restaurants to shift to a "to-go only" model. Though this is an important step to slow the spread of coronavirus, it can be devastating financially. In an effort to support restaurants in this trying time, one group has urged customers to order food today and tell others to do the same.

It's called The Great American Takeout, and it's super easy to participate. All you have to do, really, is order at least one take-out or delivery meal from your favorite spot (or just whatever you're in the mood for that day. ). Organizers are also hoping you'll spread the word by announcing your plans to order out, encouraging friends to do the same, and by taking a photo of your meal, all using the #thegreatamericantakeout.

Tons of restaurants are participating in the call, including Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Applebee&rsquos, Primanti Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, and Black Bear Diner. You can order from any restaurant you want, though, and it's especially encouraged that you support local restaurants.

"This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants," said CEO of The Habit Burger Grill Russ Bendel: "It&rsquos about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways."

This is a great time to note that ordering take-out or delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak is safe with a few precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, there is little evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or packaging.

But you can opt for contactless delivery to keep you and your delivery driver safer. You should also be sure to wash your hands before and after receiving the food, as well as before eating. Oh, and be sure to tip well too. Learn more about being safe when ordering take-out here.

There is a lot you can do for local restaurants and restaurant workers once you finish your take-out (and leftovers!) tonight, too. Look into ordering gift cards, donate to restaurant worker relief funds, order merchandise, and keep ordering take-out and delivery beyond today.


Four statewide university systems have committed to increasing local and Real Food across all their campuses:

  • The California State University system
  • The University of California system
  • The University of Maine system (committed to 20% local food)
  • The Colorado Mountain College system

Finally, the schools below are listed in order of when they signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, committing to 20% Real Food by 2020, unless otherwise noted:


Third-Ranked KFC is Winning the Fast Food Battle in India – For Now

By: 12/24/2013 By: Elizabeth Friend 12/24/2013

India has been steadily claiming a larger share of the attention of leading operators looking to expand abroad, and some have even gone as far as calling India, “China 2.0”. Within the past year, Yum! Brands, McDonald’s and most recently, Burger King, have all pledged to make India a central focus of their future expansion strategy, a testament to the level of opportunity present in the sizable market.

But while brands from all over the world have already rushed to carve out a presence in India, the market is still years away from seeing anywhere close to the kind of chained foodservice penetration already achieved in China. And as excitement about future potential in India has grown, so too has the competition, taking with it any chance of finding any sort of first-mover advantage. This has resulted in a market that’s relatively underdeveloped in terms of outlets per-capita, and yet one that is already crowded with competitors all vying for customers in the same concentrated areas.

Within these conditions, many chains are having trouble finding ways to stand out, and the window for establishing oneself as a leader in the lucrative market may soon be closing. With the hopes of discovering what’s actually working in India so far—and what isn’t—Euromonitor took a look at three current winners and dove a little deeper into the localization strategy, pricing structure, and youth appeal that are helping to drive their success. We’ll start with the third-ranked brand in the market, Yum! Brands’ KFC.

A Slow Start, with Building Momentum

KFC was the fastest-growing major chain in India in 2012, recording 45% value growth year-over-year based on a 41% increase in outlets (a net addition of 62). This level of growth has helped KFC become the third-ranked brand in India, a fact that is particularly notable considering they were a relatively late entrant in terms of widespread expansion. In 2003, KFC had just 3 local outlets, putting them well behind Baskin-Robbins, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s, all of which had over 50 outlets already in operation, and were growing quickly.

KFC’s success has come as a combination of clever localization, savvy pricing strategies, successful consumer education, and a menu that appeals well to the changing preferences of sophisticated, urban Indian consumers. KFC’s entry into the market was slow, and despite opening three initial outlets as early as 1995, the chain had reached just five units nearly a decade later. At that time, the market posed significant logistical issues, and sourcing enough poultry, beef and other products continues to be a challenge even in 2012. Back in the ‘90s, local leader McDonald’s famously spent years building its own India supply chain from scratch, training local farmers and designing a cold chain that would be robust enough to handle its needs, while Yum! Brands’ focus was firmly on building its now-dominant presence in China. The chain’s investment in the latter market has paid off handsomely, but it also left the brand with some catching up to do.

Meanwhile, Indian consumer preferences were changing. Chicken consumption in India may be more common than beef, but meals are typically carbohydrate-heavy, and many local consumers prefer a vegetarian diet. Further, the chicken that is eaten is traditionally taken in the form of tandoori, a fiery-red, spicy grilled dish that’s eaten alongside rice and vegetables. When the time was finally right for expansion, and Indian consumers were broadening their foodservice horizons through travel, the internet, and generally greater exposure to global cuisine, KFC began expanding aggressively and adapting their menus to bridge the gap between familiar and innovative. By 2012, the chain had reached 220 outlets and added spicier versions of their chicken, including a Fiery Grill flavor that mimics the red hue and hot spice of traditional tandoori, and Curry Chicken, modeled after popular local curries.

In addition to promoting its chicken items, KFC also added plenty of vegetarian options. The chain now serves fried vegetable strips and burger patties made of either potato or vegetables, and many new menu launches have been accompanied by a similar vegetarian item, such as the Zing Kong beef burger meal combo and Veg Zing Kong combo, both launched in mid-2012.

Finally, KFC has also achieved success through the use of its pricing strategy, which was designed to help turn what appeared to many as a special-occasion novelty restaurant into an everyday option. In recent years, KFC has taken steps to drastically reduce its prices, launching a Streetwise branded menu targeted to students who have very little income but tend to be willing to spend on foodservice at the right price. The menu starts with items as low as Rs25 (US.40), and was marketed with a youthful campaign that promoted the range as a better alternative to the university dining hall at similar prices. In 2013, KFC followed up with a “[email protected]” marketing campaign and augmented reality smartphone app. Cash-strapped students can scan any small bill with their phones, and the app suggests low-priced items off of a new KFC Wow menu that fits within their budget.

The Road Ahead

This budding success in India couldn’t come at a better time for Yum! Brands, which has been facing dire results from China, usually its strongest market. The company has been battling concerns about its poultry quality, avian flu scares, and various food safety scandals that have caused comparable-store sales to plummet as much as 11% in the most recent quarter. In India, third-quarter results were better, with outlet sales surging 24% despite flat comparable-store sales.

Some of this relative slowdown in India is due to rising competition, especially in fried chicken fast food. Now that local consumers are more willing to see fried chicken as a meal, countless imitators have entered the market, many of which are backed by deep-pocketed operators and, in some cases, possibly even better suited to Indian palates. Thai street stall concept Five Star Fried Chicken, for example, launched in India in 2013, targeting young professionals and college students by opening in malls and business parks. The chain’s very spicy Thai-style fried chicken appeals well to Indian preferences, and parent company Charoen Pokphand’s holdings in the local chicken processing industry enables the chain to sell items at prices that start even lower than KFC’s Streetwise menu.

To battle this competition, KFC is ramping up expansion even further, aiming to double its local outlet presence by 2015. The chain will also be moving into smaller cities and second-tier areas, gaining access to new customer groups in areas less saturated with chained foodservice options. In an even more interesting move, KFC’s parent company is betting on Taco Bell for future growth in India, a concept that has so far remained mostly confined to the US. Despite this, the concept’s menu is easily translatable into vegetarian fare and has high potential appeal for young people, the same group Yum! Brands has worked so hard to target with KFC.

Key Takeaways from KFC

Moving forward, there are a few key lessons other brands can take from KFC’s success. First, the importance of menu localization cannot be overstated, especially in a market with a well-developed dining culture of its own. Indian consumers like very spicy food, and they are as diverse in their dietary preferences—much of which stems from local religious and cultural traditions—as they are in terms of income stratification. Successful brands will need to take significant steps to bridge the gap between offering a new, exciting dining experience and one that will be familiar enough, and attainable enough, to entice consumers to dine outside of the home.

Second, operational challenges in India are just as important as customer acquisition, and operators who aren’t proactive about building their supply chain will likely find success impossible. Finally, in a country with over a billion people, targeting a concept’s appeal to the right customer base is still important. KFC has had success using pricing, product mix, and branding to target young people, a customer base that can expand with the chain in the future as the demographic grows both in size and in purchasing power. By 2030, India is expected to surpass both the US and China to become the home of the largest consuming population in the world, and while the “right” consumer base will continue to grow larger, the importance of carefully targeting those consumers and fostering their future brand loyalty will be no less paramount.


Easy, affordable and healthy eating tips during COVID-19

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is upending life for families around the world. As schools and childcare centres close, many parents are finding themselves stuck at home for most of the day juggling childcare, full-time work and other competing responsibilities. Figuring out “What’s for dinner?” can be yet another daily challenge.

To make things even harder, panic buying and disruptions to food supply systems mean some foods can now be difficult to find. And for many people, unemployment and lost income are making food shopping an additional financial challenge.

While many parents are understandably looking to ready meals and processed foods as a quick and low-cost way to feed the family, there are convenient, affordable and healthy alternatives. Here are five ways to help feed your children a varied, nutritious diet that will support their growth and development, all while building healthy eating habits.

5 healthy eating tips

1. Keep up fruit and vegetable intake

Purchasing, storing and cooking fresh vegetables can be challenging in a lockdown, especially when parents are advised to limit trips outside of the home. But wherever possible, it’s important to ensure children are still getting plenty of fruit and vegetables in their diet.

Whenever it is possible to get hold of fresh produce, do so. As well as being eaten fresh, fruits and vegetables can be frozen where possible and will retain most of their nutrients and flavor. Using fresh vegetables to cook large batches of soups, stews or other dishes will make them last longer and provide meal options for a few days. These can also be frozen where possible and then quickly reheated.

2. Swap in healthy dried or canned alternatives when fresh produce is not available

Fresh produce is almost always the best option, but when it is not available there are plenty of healthy alternatives that are easy to store and prepare.

Canned beans and chickpeas, which provide an abundance of nutrients, can be stored for months or even years, and can be included in meals in many ways. Canned oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and a range of vitamins and minerals. These can be used cold in sandwiches, salads or pasta dishes, or cooked as part of a warm meal.

Canned vegetables, such as tomatoes, do tend to contain lower quantities of vitamins than fresh produce, but they are a great fallback option when fresh produce or frozen vegetables are hard to come by.

Dried goods like dried beans, pulses and grains such as lentils, split peas, rice, couscous or quinoa are also nutritious, long-lasting options that are tasty, affordable and filling. Rolled oats cooked with milk or water can serve as an excellent breakfast option, and can be spiced up with yoghurt, chopped fruits or raisins.

3. Build up a stock of healthy snacks

Children often need to eat a snack or two during the day to keep them going. Rather than giving kids sweets or salty snacks, opt for healthier options like nuts, cheese, yoghurt (preferably unsweetened), chopped or dried fruits, boiled eggs, or other locally available healthy options. These foods are nutritious, more filling, and help build healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

4. Limit highly processed foods

While using fresh produce may not always be possible, try to limit the amount of highly processed foods in your shopping basket. Ready-to-eat meals, packaged snacks and desserts are often high in saturated fat, sugars and salt. If you do purchase processed foods, look at the label and try to choose healthier options containing less of these substances. Try to also avoid sugary drinks and instead drink lots of water. Adding fruits or vegetables like lemon, lime, cucumber slices or berries to water is a great way to add an extra twist of flavor.

5. Make cooking and eating a fun and meaningful part of your family routine

Cooking and eating together is a great way to create healthy routines, strengthen family bonds and have fun. Wherever you can, involve your children in food preparation – small children can help with washing or sorting food items while older children can take on more complex tasks and help to set the table.

Try as much as possible to stick to fixed mealtimes as a family. Such structures and routine can help reduce anxiety for children in these stressful situations.

Advice for breastfeeding children

Breastmilk remains a great food for children between 6-24 months and beyond. Women with COVID-19 can continue to breastfeed if they wish to do so. They should, however, practice respiratory hygiene during feeding, wearing a mask where available wash their hands before and after touching the baby and routinely clean and disinfect surfaces they have touched. If too unwell to breastfeed due to the virus or other complications, mothers should be supported to safely provide newborns with breastmilk in any way possible.


Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli . ” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)

Another argument runs that junk food is cheaper when measured by the calorie, and that this makes fast food essential for the poor because they need cheap calories. But given that half of the people in this country (and a higher percentage of poor people) consume too many calories rather than too few, measuring food’s value by the calorie makes as much sense as measuring a drink’s value by its alcohol content. (Why not drink 95 percent neutral grain spirit, the cheapest way to get drunk?)

Besides, that argument, even if we all needed to gain weight, is not always true. A meal of real food cooked at home can easily contain more calories, most of them of the “healthy” variety. (Olive oil accounts for many of the calories in the roast chicken meal, for example.)In comparing prices of real food and junk food, I used supermarket ingredients, not the pricier organic or local food that many people would consider ideal. But food choices are not black and white the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food, any more than the alternative to soda is Bordeaux.

The alternative to soda is water, and the alternative to junk food is not grass-fed beef and greens from a trendy farmers’ market, but anything other than junk food: rice, grains, pasta, beans, fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, bread, peanut butter, a thousand other things cooked at home — in almost every case a far superior alternative.

“Anything that you do that’s not fast food is terrific cooking once a week is far better than not cooking at all,” says Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University and author of “What to Eat.” “It’s the same argument as exercise: more is better than less and some is a lot better than none.”

THE fact is that most people can afford real food. Even the nearly 50 million Americans who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) receive about $5 per person per day, which is far from ideal but enough to survive. So we have to assume that money alone doesn’t guide decisions about what to eat. There are, of course, the so-called food deserts, places where it’s hard to find food: the Department of Agriculture says that more than two million Americans in low-income rural areas live 10 miles or more from a supermarket, and more than five million households without access to cars live more than a half mile from a supermarket.

Still, 93 percent of those with limited access to supermarkets do have access to vehicles, though it takes them 20 more minutes to travel to the store than the national average. And after a long day of work at one or even two jobs, 20 extra minutes — plus cooking time — must seem like an eternity.

Taking the long route to putting food on the table may not be easy, but for almost all Americans it remains a choice, and if you can drive to McDonald’s you can drive to Safeway. It’s cooking that’s the real challenge. (The real challenge is not “I’m too busy to cook.” In 2010 the average American, regardless of weekly earnings, watched no less than an hour and a half of television per day. The time is there.)

The core problem is that cooking is defined as work, and fast food is both a pleasure and a crutch. “People really are stressed out with all that they have to do, and they don’t want to cook,” says Julie Guthman, associate professor of community studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of the forthcoming “Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice and the Limits of Capitalism.” “Their reaction is, ‘Let me enjoy what I want to eat, and stop telling me what to do.’ And it’s one of the few things that less well-off people have: they don’t have to cook.”

It’s not just about choice, however, and rational arguments go only so far, because money and access and time and skill are not the only considerations. The ubiquity, convenience and habit-forming appeal of hyperprocessed foods have largely drowned out the alternatives: there are five fast-food restaurants for every supermarket in the United States in recent decades the adjusted for inflation price of fresh produce has increased by 40 percent while the price of soda and processed food has decreased by as much as 30 percent and nearly inconceivable resources go into encouraging consumption in restaurants: fast-food companies spent $4.2 billion on marketing in 2009.

Furthermore, the engineering behind hyperprocessed food makes it virtually addictive. A 2009 study by the Scripps Research Institute indicates that overconsumption of fast food “triggers addiction-like neuroaddictive responses” in the brain, making it harder to trigger the release of dopamine. In other words the more fast food we eat, the more we need to give us pleasure thus the report suggests that the same mechanisms underlie drug addiction and obesity.

This addiction to processed food is the result of decades of vision and hard work by the industry. For 50 years, says David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and author of “The End of Overeating,” companies strove to create food that was “energy-dense, highly stimulating, and went down easy. They put it on every street corner and made it mobile, and they made it socially acceptable to eat anytime and anyplace. They created a food carnival, and that’s where we live. And if you’re used to self-stimulation every 15 minutes, well, you can’t run into the kitchen to satisfy that urge.”

Real cultural changes are needed to turn this around. Somehow, no-nonsense cooking and eating — roasting a chicken, making a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambling an egg, tossing a salad — must become popular again, and valued not just by hipsters in Brooklyn or locavores in Berkeley. The smart campaign is not to get McDonald’s to serve better food but to get people to see cooking as a joy rather than a burden, or at least as part of a normal life.


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What does the roadmap to food security really look like?

There is no 'silver bullet' to global food security issues, with researchers suggesting that industry and policymakers take a multi-pathway approach to battling the issue.

According to the Committee on World Food Security (2012)​ food security is defined as when "all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

“The four pillars of food security are availability, access, utilization and stability. The nutritional dimension is integral to the concept of food security,”​ the definition states.

Yet what does this really mean when hundreds of millions of people are hungry and undernourished, and the already serious challenge of providing food security is expected to become more difficult as populations grow?

Feeding the more than 9 billion people expected to be living by 2050 is a serious challenge. Indeed, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) deputy director-general has suggested that agricultural production needs to increase by 70% worldwide, and by almost 100% in developing countries, in order to meet growing food demand.

But is the answer as simple as that?

There is no silver bullet

Food security, in particular the food supply and demand challenge, is complex.

Even just filling the gap we have currently would require huge investment and time – during which population growth would increase pressure on food availability and see the same problem reoccur, say researchers​. Indeed, if investment in growing agricultural capacity could be increased just to backfill the current shortfall, expect to see considerable lags – in the 25-year plus range – between when investments are made and when productivity increases are fully apparent.


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