Just five days after his eldest son Prince William married Catherine Middleton in front of more than two billion people, Prince Charles delivered the keynote speech at "The Future of Food" conference at Georgetown University.
"It certainly makes for a change from making embarrassing speeches for my eldest son and wedding receptions and such," the prince joked.
His Royal Highness has been a longtime public advocate of sustainable and organic agriculture. He maintains organic gardens at Highgrove Estate, Clarence House and Birkhall residence, penned "The Elements of Organic Gardening" book, as well as narrated the "Harmony" documentary that addresses the global warming crisis and sustainable development.
His Royal Highness said, "the world is gradually waking up to the fact that creating sustainable food systems will become paramount in the future because of the challenges facing food production."
"The way we have done things up to now is no longer as viable as they once appeared to be," the prince said.
To achieve a sustainable model, he proposed: “it must be a mixed approach, one where animal waste is recycled and organic waste is composted to build the soil’s fertility. One where antibiotics are only used on animals to treat illnesses, not deployed in prophylactic doses to prevent them, and where those animals are fed on grass-based regimes as nature actually intended."
"We have to put nature back at the heart of the equation," Charles added.
While the prince recognized changing the food landscape requires "some very brave steps," he remained optimistic and couldn't "help but feel hopeful when large corporations like Walmart start local sourcing of food and stock their shelves with sustainable produce."
The "Future of Food" conference will also address the growing problem of food insecurity, the role of sustainable agriculture in protecting the environment and how to maintain an adequate supply of healthy food at affordable prices.
During his three-day Washington visit, Prince Charles also visited Common Good City Farm, an urban farm that supplies fresh food to low-income D.C. residents. The Prince of Wales is also scheduled to meet with President Obama later today.
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