As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) on April 16 unveiled a sweeping new program, "FutureFood 2050," to "create a broad dialogue on how science will deliver solutions needed to feed the world’s nine billion people by the year 2050."
It will be a multimedia project, backed by print stories in several of the association's journals as well as a documentary film expected in mid to late 2015. "With the premise that the science of food is an essential ingredient for feeding the world sustainably, FutureFood 2050 will highlight the people and stories leading the way toward a healthier, safer and better nourished planet," the association said.
"FutureFood 2050 will come to life over the coming months with 75 interviews featuring independent-minded thought leaders around the globe. At the same time, a documentary will be completed looking at how the science of food will contribute solutions to feeding the world. The documentary will provide the public with a closer, more intimate look at the science, stories and personalities addressing this challenge."
Scott Hamilton Kennedy, an Academy Award-nominated film director, will oversee the documentary. “By looking at this challenge through the unbiased lens of science, our goal is to address critical questions surrounding food in a fair, transparent manner that will hopefully surprise, and maybe even transform us along the way,” he said.
From now until the film’s 2015 release, the FutureFood 2050 interview series will look broadly at the ways science is tackling the world’s most pressing food issues. A new website, www.FutureFood2050.com, will serve as a digital hub for the public to follow the stories and connect science to the conversation about how to feed the planet. An international team of editors and journalists, including Josh Schonwald, award-winning author of "The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food," will create the stories in the interview series.
“Feeding nine billion people by 2050 simply can’t happen without science and technology playing a leading role,” Schonwald said. “This project will showcase leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs and activists who are shaping the future of food from a wide variety of perspectives – some high tech, some not. And along the way, we hope to foster a better dialogue about the options surrounding some of the world’s most complex, highly-charged issues.”
Three stories in this package already are available:
* Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, talks about empowering the world’s women as the missing link in global food aid programs.
* Legendary geneticist M.S. Swaminathan, heralded as the father of India’s “Green Revolution,” says it’s time for the next step: greater agricultural productivity without ecological damage.
* Engineer Anjan Contractor, brings food science to space travel by helping NASA feed astronauts on Mars and beyond with 3-D food printing.