As the global population grows, the challenge to end hunger only deepens. The U.N. World Food Programme wants to wipe out global hunger by 2030. Can it be done?
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This week on Full Frame, we look at some of the innovative, and perhaps a little unconventional, ideas for eradicating hunger around the world, once and for all.
Aspire Foods: Insects as nourishment
In 2012, five M.B.A. students began developing an idea to address food insecurity in the world’s urban slums: insect farming. Not only did their idea win the world’s most prestigious social enterprise competition, they beat out ten-thousand other competitors and were presented the one-million-dollar Hult Prize by former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.
Since winning the award, two of the students, Mohammed Ashour and Gabe Mott launched Aspire Foods Group. It’s a social enterprise focused on farming edible insects. It has operations in Mexico, Ghana, and the United States. Compared to livestock, insects require far less resources to convert the same amount of protein; less farmland, less water, and emit far fewer greenhouse gases.
Mohammed Ashour and Gabe Mott join May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to share their vision of providing economically-challenged and malnourished populations with high-protein, sustainable food solutions.
Ethan Brown: The future of protein
Imagine using plants to make “meat”. One California-based company is doing just that.
Ethan Brown is the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat. It produces a 100% plant-based protein with the taste and texture of chicken and beef. Brown believes replicating animal meats with plants offers consumers a sustainable protein option while helping to address one of the most important environmental issue facing society today.
A vegetarian since he was 18, Brown is the first to acknowledge that we humans are wired to crave and enjoy meat. Instead of trying to fight this desire, he set out to satisfy it by mimicking the taste and texture of beef and chicken using plant-based protein. And he’s done that using non-GMO substitutes that have zero cholesterol and no trans fats.
Ethan Brown joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to share how utilizing plant proteins can not only help solve the global food crisis, but can save the planet as well.
Jen Rustemeyer: Minimizing food waste
According to a 2013 report issued by the United Nations Environmental Programme, roughly one third, or more than one billion tons, of all food produced in the world for human consumption gets wasted. Each year, consumers in developed countries, waste nearly as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa. But the loss of food that could otherwise feed the hungry isn’t the only problem. In addition to squandered financial and natural resources, food waste generates more rotting food, creating more methane—one of the most harmful greenhouse gases to contribute to climate change.
Filmmaker Jen Rustemeyer and her partner Grant Baldwin were equally disturbed by the negative impact of food waste and decided to do something about it. The pair devised a plan whereby they’d live solely on food that was discarded or given to them by others for six months and capture the journey on camera. What transpired is seen in their award-winning film, Just Eat It.
From Vancouver, British Columbia, filmmaker Jen Rustemeyer joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to tell us more.
Food Forward: Reinvigorating surplus produce
From picking to feeding, Food Forward, a volunteer organization, reinvigorates surplus produce that would normally go to waste. It does this through various programs including backyard harvesting, farmer’s markets, and wholesale recovery. All of the fruits and vegetables, collected by Food Forward, are then donated to hunger relief agencies all across Southern California. On average, the organization recovers about 90,000 kilograms of produce each week.
Full Frame met with the volunteers of Food Forward to see how food, which might otherwise go to waste, is feeding the hungry.
Connect with Food Forward on Facebook.