According to a report recently released by the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers, up to 50% of the world's harvest is wasted. That corresponds to 1.2-2 billion tonnes of food every year, and is extraordinary when there are 870 million undernourished people in the world (ie consuming less than 2100 calories per day). Not to mention the immense waste of land, energy and water. It is no overstatement that people starve in a planet of extraordinary abundance.
|Food waste: an immense challenge that can be overcome.|
Spoiled for a lack of markets, not up to quality standards or whatever, there is an immense amount of waste in our food system. And so, to me, the problem of feeding the global population is less a matter of insufficient land or yield, and more a matter of distribution and waste.
To take a leaf from Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountains Institute who refers to the immense opportunity for oil independence through "drilling under Detroit" (ie gaining large quantities of oil by improving fuel efficiency of motor vehicles), there is an equally immense opportunity for "Farming the rubbish bin".
Even more usefully, there are many role models that can be referred to in order to develop up the patchwork that will eventually form a solution to the problem.