Institute on the Environment director Jonathan Foley today served up the first article in an eight-month National Geographic series on feeding the world without destroying the planet.
“When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner,” writes Foley in the opening paragraph. “But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.”
“A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World” was published online today, with the print issue hitting newsstands next week. Drawing on research by IonE’s Global Landscapes Initiative, Foley proposes five steps that could solve the world’s food dilemma.
“This is a pivotal moment when we face unprecedented challenges to food security and the preservation of our global environment,” Foley concludes in the piece. “The good news is that we already know what we have to do; we just need to figure out how to do it. Addressing our global food challenges demands that all of us become more thoughtful about the food we put on our plates. We need to make connections between our food and the farmers who grow it, and between our food and the land, watersheds, and climate that sustain us. As we steer our grocery carts down the aisles of our supermarkets, the choices we make will help decide the future.”
After you’ve digested the “Five Step Plan,” tune in to NPR’s Marketplace this Wednesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. and Science Friday on Friday, April 18, 1-3 p.m. CT to hear Foley discuss the future of food.
Foley, who was recently honored with the 2014 Heinz Award in the Environment, is a McKnight Presidential Chair of Global Environment and Sustainability and professor in the College of Biological Sciences.
May 2014 cover courtesy of National Geographic