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14 Reasons to Be Hopeful About the Future of Food

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organic Transitions page.

When it comes to the future of the food system, it's hard not to be discouraged. Nearly one billion people are hungry, and another 1.5 billion are obese or overweight. All over the world, people waste 1.3 billion tons of food each year. And according to the International Panel on Climate Change, humans are to blame for an increasingly hot, dry and natural disaster-prone planet.

But Food Tank has compiled a list of 14 reasons to be hopeful about the future of the food system. Share these with your networks to spread the message that the food system is changing for the better.

1. The next generation is learning more about where their food comes from than their parents did.

In the U.S., initiatives like The Kitchen Community, The Edible Schoolyard Project, The Sylvia Center and The FARM Institute are getting kids involved in learning about food from farm to fork. In Costa Rica, young people are learning integrated farming and natural resource management at EARTH University. In Uganda, the Forum for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa and Project DISC are teaching youth about sustainable farming. In Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and the Philippines, the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) is implementing teaching gardens for elementary school students.

2. Food for public school lunches is coming from more sustainable sources.

School meals are a common public food service implemented across the world. Many countries have implemented reforms to improve the nutritional quality of school meals by seeking out more sustainable sources for the students' food. In Brazil, for instance, at least 30 percent of food for school meals must be purchased locally from smallholder farmers.

3. More food waste is being composted.

On average, all of the member states of the European Union composted 15 percent of municipal waste in 2011-in the Netherlands, the proportion of waste composted was more than twice the average. In the U.S., San Francisco has undertaken widespread public composting and recycling programs, and now manages to divert 78 percent of its waste from landfills.   


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