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The World in 2030 - According to Bill and Melinda Gates


Stashed in: Awesome, The Future, Bill Gates, Singularity!, The World, World Hunger, @melindagates

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In their annual letter, released today, the two hazard some fairly specific guesses about the biggest changes in the world over the next 15 years, from cutting the number of childhood deaths in half and reducing deaths in childbirth by two-thirds to eradicating polio and a farming revolution to make Africa self-sufficient.

A second food revolution

By John Norris, executive director for the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress

We are poised for the second great food revolution. The “green revolution” in the late 1960s and early 1970s transformed food production with new crops, technologies and innovations that prevented what many feared would be mass starvation in Asia and Africa. The second food revolution will be in the dramatic reduction of food loss and waste.

Right now, about 30 percent of all food is lost between field and fork—a staggering amount when we consider how much food is produced and eaten around the globe. The developing world loses about 30 percent of crops and food to pests, and because of lousy infrastructure, that means lots of goods decay before they get to the market. In the developed world, we lose the same 30 percent, but for very different reasons. Farmers overproduce to cope with variations in price, big companies simply get rid of lots of fruits and vegetables for not being “pretty enough” for the grocery store and we put “sell by” dates on food that are designed more to move product than to actually inform consumers about real risk.

The second food revolution will happen because lots of people have a stake in making it happen: Less loss means more money for farmers and agribusiness; less loss means less use of fuel and less greenhouse gases; less loss means less rural poverty; and less loss means more people with enough food to eat and water to drink. We might dream of using oxygen for fuel or mounting lasers on sharks, but the great breakthrough might actually be taking place on your dinner plate.

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