Editor’s note: Michael Kugelman is the senior program associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and lead editor of The Global Farms Race. You can follow him @michaelkugelman. The views expressed are his own.
This week in Washington, the World Bank is hosting its annual conference on land and poverty. The Bank has identified improved land governance as this year’s theme. It’s a wise decision, given that poor land governance in developing world agricultural settings has spawned a destabilizing global trend – one fueled, in part, by financial support from the Bank itself.
In recent years, food-importing regimes from Asia and the Gulf, spooked by high food prices and lacking the land and water resources to grow crops at home, have obtained land overseas to use for agriculture. Private investors from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, recognizing the profit potential of precious agricultural land, have joined this scramble for the world’s soils. Nearly $30 billion in private capital is projected to be invested in farmland by 2015, and pension funds and asset managers have recently joined forces to attract even more capital for farmland financing.
Read the full story - The global farm grab is on - on the Fareed Zakaria GPS blog.
Sorry, kid. No money, no lunch.
Students at an Attleboro, Massachusetts, middle school went hungry this week, if they had a negative balance on their pre-paid lunch cards.
Five cents of debt was enough for cafeteria employees at the Coehlo Middle School to instruct kids at least one day this week to dump out the food they would have normally eaten, CNN affiliate WJAR in Rhode Island reported.
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emile Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.
To some, Bonita Conwell is a farmer. To others, a butcher. For rural Southern women and youth in agriculture, she is an advocate for economic and social justice. No matter how you frame her, Conwell is a tour de force in the Delta region of Mississippi, and her influence extends up the Mighty Mississippi to Chicago and westward to Houston, Texas.
Based in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Conwell is the driving force behind Robert’s Meat Market. Built in 1985, the market found success in providing Mississippi-made meat products to Southerners living in Chicago. To the west, Conwell sells the greens of her sweet potato crops - a part of the root that is usually discarded - to an African market in Houston. SFA director John T. Edge is such a fan of Conwell's sweet potato greens that he included them on his list of the top ten dishes of 2012 for Garden & Gun magazine.
Low-income households in Egypt are being hit by soaring food prices, placing a major strain on many poor families in the country, who are struggling to put basic staples on the table.
Inside a small Cairo apartment, Howeida Nageh is dicing a few tomatoes in her kitchen. Her three sons have arrived home from school and they are hungry. Yet, the only food available is these tomatoes and a piece of bread - and this will be the boys' only meal for the day.
Breakfast might not just be the most important meal of a child's day - it might be one of most important meals of their life. A new study released Wednesday by non-profit group Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign shows the positive effect that school breakfast can have on a child's performance in class and on standardized tests, and what this can mean for their future.
Eleven million low-income students eat a school-provided breakfast. Share Our Strength partnered with professional services firm Deloitte to analyze third party studies and publicly available data to assess the impact of existing school breakfast plans on students' academic performance. They found some rather eye-opening statistics.
CNN's Impact Your World has a great list of resources that could aid Syrians and refugees.
Hoping to break any stigmas of government assistance, Newark Mayor Cory Booker of New Jersey will live on food stamps this week–a challenge that first began as a Twitter conversation.
The Democratic mayor will operate on a food stamp budget of about $30 a week ($4.32 per day), roughly the same amount provided to people in New Jersey who take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Tens of thousands of people have fled northern Mali as Islamist militants tighten their grip over the vast desert region. Those who remain face an increasingly desperate humanitarian situation with little access to food, clean water and medicine. The International Rescue Committee and international relief organizations, meanwhile, are struggling to deliver vital aid to suffering Malian civilians.
Over 450,000 people have fled the north since the Islamist takeover and another half-million people inside the country are in need of immediate assistance according to the United Nations and international aid organizations.
“The situation in the north of the country is becoming more and more alarming,” said Tasha Gill, who directs the IRC’s aid programs in Mali. “Basic services like health centers, water points and schools have stopped functioning. And although food can be found at the market now, many simply cannot afford to buy it. A perfect storm is brewing and thousands need humanitarian assistance.”
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Editor's Note: José Andrés is an internationally acclaimed chef. Among his accolades, he was named "Outstanding Chef" by the James Beard Foundation in 2011 and one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2012 by TIME Magazine. Tomorrow, he will be in Iowa at the World Food Prize participating in discussions on food security as part of the Borlaug Dialogue. The dialogues are named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, who spent his life working to find solutions to feed hungry people across the world.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are,” might be Brillat-Savarin’s most famous quote, but something else he said that I find more powerful is: “The future of nations will depend on the manner in which they feed themselves.”
Today, on World Food Day, I think that statement has an even truer meaning and urges us to look around at our world and the importance of food. And why would words like this have such a profound impact on me, a chef? Chefs - all of us - feed the few, in our restaurants and at special events, but I believe we have the power and responsibility to help feed the many.
Miranda Lynch believes a vegetable garden has the power to revolutionize a community.
It's the idea behind of Isipho, the nonprofit organization Lynch conceived when she was just 12 years old. It all started in 2008 when her father, Tom, won a trip to South Africa at an auction.
The father-daughter adventure began with a stay on a wild game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Assuming it would be the only time he and his daughter would set foot in South Africa, Tom wanted Miranda to see more than the commercialized landscape of the reserve.
"It was important, as she was turning 13 that year, for her to see that the world that she knew was not the entire world," Tom says.