Thought For Food: Manchester
We are a 5-person team from the University of Manchester set with the task of innovating food production and raising awareness about the global food crisis.
We are Peter. We are Ruchi. We are JP. We are Jonny. We are Kelly. Hear our voice.
For our Facebook group: click here
@Aristolochia Heyyy! Check our locust video filmed at the Manchester Museum! http://t.co/X58UsBAe #entomophagy
Check our video of people eating locusts at the Manchester Museum! http://t.co/X58UsBAe #entomophagy #locusts #Manchester #ManchesterMuseum
Students and researchers at Manchester University eating insects! http://t.co/gORN7HPB #entomophagy #eatingbugs #insects #locusts
http://t.co/EsEHnaC4 Watch our latest video, the tasty & sustainable future of food! #entomophagy #food @tffchallenge @Juggling_Doctor
RT @Juggling_Doctor: @Foodsionary @love4allnations @ShareTheWater @tffchallenge @TFFguelph Have you tried living out of bins for a whil ...
@tffchallenge @Juggling_Doctor Everyone please check out the video entries for this year's TFF challenge http://t.co/ZIhgpPnG #foodsecurity
#ThingsThatFrustrateMe Grumpy, miserable, or rude people in general. Smile! Say please and thank you! It's easy. :D. See. Thank you.
Bugs have benefits http://t.co/i3UQ35G3 #Entomophagy #Eatbugs #Bugs #Tasty #Goodfood #Lovefoodhatewaste #Locusts #Poetry #Poem #TFFchallenge
@tffchallenge Can't wait for @tffchallenge2012 to begin! Over 40 teams worldwide, gonna be HUUUUUUGE #foodsecurity #hunger #tffchallenge
#Hunger & #obesity - part of same problem https://t.co/V5zYZsZv In Zurich we were forced to eat McDs - cheapest option! #Food #McDonalds
http://t.co/TsDIXHh3 Students around the world - apply for TFF 2012. Make an idea come to life and join in the conversation. #foodsecurity
http://t.co/rIbt5Jy0 Eat insects for sustainable and meaty future. Must decrease cow consumption, though dairy can stay! #milk #entomophagy
http://t.co/iqxSq3o0 A thank you to Sandbox and Thought for Food. What do Sandboxers think about... #Foodsecurity #Globalhunger #TFF
@tffchallenge PS Come to Lisbon!
@tffchallenge Very disappointed to see no #connectingcereals tweets despite the challenge we issued :-(
http://t.co/oIuXYQIR What do people think about wheat, and how to make it cool, interesting and sexy?! #foodsecurity #wheat #tff
Making new videos about "how to make wheat sexy" then heading to Basel to discuss the findings!! #food security #wheat
Giving presentation at Oldham Grammar School tomorrow, spreading the TFF word and promoting sustainable agriculture! #Food security #TFF
@tffchallenge Try telling the judges that! :-(
We gave away some free food. Please keep watching our main video here.
We love you tumblr.
We made a video, please watch.
Watch Conor Walsh from the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute explain that Food Miles are only the beginning in analysing food.
Not news to those who follow climate change science. Good to see the NYTimes hitting the story. Climate change is expected to shrink yields in some countries. Corn yields in the US is down, despite upward demand pressures. Also, I’m a fan of Justin Gillis’s tight, to the point writing style.
Good read, here.
We did a short video about this. Check it out :-)
More videos! We decided to investigate alternative food shops, starting with the fantastic Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton, Manchester.
Pete investigates food waste: ‘I’ve been eating out of bins for the last week-and-a-half. Give it a go! I don’t see why we can’t leave bins where homeless people are free to scavenge… it’s a rarity to find supermarket bins that aren’t behind a lock, chain and a very high wall. In the last two weeks I’ve found bread, eggs, chocolate, brocolli, spuds, ham, oranges, tomotoes, cake, fish, pork pies, coca cola, fruit juice, doughnuts, pastries and some tunnocks tea cakes - all very edible!’
The Father of Natural Farming – Masanobu Fukuoka
Some very interesting concepts here, along similar lines to a wonderful TED talk we saw yesterday. That TED talk focuses on fish, but the line that stuck was that farming should be done extensively, not intensively. An approach that joins these similar viewpoints with some of my own: urban agriculture, grow your own, self-sufficiency across broader regions could be fruitful.
Aidan Knight - Local Food (by Amazing Factory Productions Inc.)
This is great. If there is one thing that we love as much as food then it is music.
If we all produce enough food to eat from our own area then that will help to ensure a better future for all of us. Extensive farming not intensive farming maybe?
Facts about Food Security, Global Hunger, Food Production and Food Waste. Bob Dylan style.
We are about to start a process in Cape Town working with some of the people involved in the Belo Horizonte case to see how their experiences might shape our attempts to address food security here. Interested in finding out more?
Oh wowowow, that sounds so very exciting. We are all amazed by the Belo Horizonte case, and would love to find out more about it and efforts to introduce similar schemes anywhere else. Please tell us more. Is there anything we can do to get involved over here, we’d love to. At the minute we are making lots of videos and we would love to do something about that.
tldr: Yes please, tell us more, more, more!
This is an amazing story about Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, which has made access to food a fundamental democratic right of citizenship and has thereby practically eradicated hunger, with a mixed-economy model which is benefitting city dwellers and regional farmers alike. Using participatory budgeting, the city has implemented a number of innovative initiatives to make it happen, establishing 34 low-cost fresh food markets, three large People’s Restaurants which serve local food to 12,000 people per day for less than 50 cents per meal, school lunch programs, and community gardens.
This kind of thing makes me so excited.
This makes us so excited that we just want to squeal. And also angry. Why is it seemingly so hard for other places to put things like this in to action?
Would you eat this banana? Kelly speaks to some fellow University of Manchester Students about food waste.
3 - Food Waste - Picture 3 on Flickr.
Check out our flickr, which has all of the inspirational photos we have found so far.
Thought For Food Manchester present ‘Subterranean Homesick Facts’
As a child growing up in the UK, I'd have laughed at you for telling me off for "wasting water." I'd have pointed to the clouds forming in the sky and said "but it'll rain and fill the reservoirs back up again," or something along those lines. I might then have suggested that the sea had plenty of water, and that surely we could never run out?!
Of course, I know better now - and I also appreciate that not all people have access to safe, chlorinated drinking water and instead have to battle with parasites, such as the Guinea worm, while 90% of all infectious diseases worldwide are caused by unsafe drinking water. In fact, 50% of all the hospital beds in the world are taken up by those suffering due to poor drinking water. 4 billion people per year suffer diarrhoea and 2.2 million of them die. Furthermore, one child under the age of 5 dies every fifteen seconds due to water-related diseases.
This burden can only reduce agricultural productivity, as parasites such as Guinea worm can render people immobile and unable to tend to crops, or herd animals. Furthermore, the amount of labour time that is reduced due to water-related illnesses, or even simply transporting water over long distances, severly reduces labour hours in developing countries. This reduction in labour hours leads to a reduction in production, which maintains poverty in developing countries - while also increasing hunger. Water, poverty and hunger are all heavily interlinked - and all three must be tackled to reduce malnutrition and suffering in the poorest areas on Earth.
The above video highlights several stark facts about the water crisis we face. The most harrowing of these is the fact that fossil aquifers, which supply water to hundreds of millions of people in the Middle East, are depleting - never to refill. "In Gaza, overpumping is reducing the hydrological pressure, which is letting the sea water in, and the wells are producing water that is less and less potable. Already Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Cyprus, Malta, and the Arabian Peninsula are at the point where all surface and ground freshwater resources are fully used. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt will be in the same position within a decade." This blog also suggests that, in the Middle East, water might cost as much per barrel as oil.
A quick look at the world hunger map made me wince when I realised that many of the most food-secure countries in the world are found in North Africa and the Middle East.
What happens when none of these countries has enough ground-water to irrigate their fields? Where will these countries obtain their food? Considering an increasing amount of arable land is being dedicated to biofuels in other countries, will these produce enough to export to North Africa? Furthermore, civil wars and revolutions have broken out accross the region - most notably in Libya, but also in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Syria and more. How are these nations to feed their people in 2015, 2020, 2025 or 2030, nevermind 2050?
The question is... how are we to feed an ever-expanding population when water security is only set to decrease worldwide? Farmland from desert can only happen for so long... and our days exploiting our freshwater resources are numbered. If we are to solve the global food crisis, we first must tackle the global water crisis - which seems an almost insurmountable task unless governments start large scale desalination projects now. I again point to the seawater greenhouse project, however, as hope for the future.
There are 925 million hungry people on Earth and by 2050 the world population is expected to increase to 9 billion, while most of the extra 2 billion people will be born in China, India and Indonesia, where a significant proportion of the world's hungry people live. 65% of the world's hungry live in South Asia, while almost all of them live in developing countries. If we are to feed an extra 2 billion by 2050 then we must combat water and energy shortages, as well as battling the effects of global climate change. It is possible that an increase in carbon dioxide could cause yields of crops, such as rice, to increase (see the video below). However, carbion dioxide is not the sole cause of climate change and gases such as methane can have a relatively stronger and longer lasting effect on temperature increase, which would nulify the positive effects of increased carbion dioxide. Furthermore, climate change is also causing natural disasters and famines around the world today.
If we are to sustain this increase in population, then despite the fact that we currently produce enough food to feed 12 billion (but throw most of it away), we will have to increase food production. What would be the best way to go forward? Some argue that organic farming is the best solution to the food crisis, with smallholder farmers growing food to be consumed locally in rural communities. Organic farming couldn't sustain a city such as Mumbai, however, which is home to millions of people living in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. GM crops have been shown to increase wealth in certain areas, which is likely to reduce hunger - as well as the increased yields that can also be produced. In reality, it will require a combination of all of the available forms of agriculture in order to sustain a rapidly expanding population. It is regrettable that many aquifers - which irrigate most, if not all, of the crops of Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations - are depleting, never to refill. However, it is possible that large scale desalination could help to irrigate crops in these areas - as the Seawater Greenhouse Project aims to achieve.
The above video shows an opinion opposed to organic food production, which may be inefficient compared with more technical agricultural practises. However, staff and customers of the locally-sourced organic food shop Unicorn, in Chorlton, Manchester, explain how organic food production can be sustainable.
Of course... not all people in the world are hungry. 70 million people in India are overweight, yet 47% of India's children are stunted or wasting. Guatemala is the tenth fattest country in the world, yet malnourishment levels are around 20%. How can it be that both gluttony and hunger can occur on such a large scale in developing countries? Surely the overweight could spare some food, or waste less, in order that the hungry could be properly nourished... The video below highlights the gluttony of "Western" diets, where consumers often eat far more food than is necessary, while this food is also low in nutrients. In some developing nations fast food is the cheap and easy to get hold of - which may be one reason why malnourishment is so high in Central and South America.
So, what is there to be done about world hunger? Our next challenge will be to brainstorm, starting Thursday... we'll keep you posted on our ideas - and we welcome comments and suggestions! What would YOU do to combat global hunger?
Why do we waste up to 50% of our food? Why is it that we can't redistribute this waste to the hungry? Over the last two weeks we've been searching Manchester high and low, looking in bins and eating the contents. We've found a plethora of entirely edible items - from potatoes, carrots, oranges, and tomatoes to pork pies, fresh eggs and fish. As students we're all feeling the pinch as the recession threatens to deepen, which makes free egg butties feel even more satisfying! The video below shows the contents of just one of the bins that we've searched. After two minutes of searching we found enough food to make several stews, as well as dessert to go with them!
Obviously, we are throwing away vast quantities of food that could be put to much better use. Considering there are 925 million hungry people on Earth, it seems abhorrent that there is perfectly decent food being thrown away on such a large scale. However, what is there to be done about tackling food waste? The video below gives the opinions of some Plant Science students from the University of Manchester...
This link is to a blog dedicated to asking questions about food waste... this will surely inspire some food for thought! The author, Jonathan Bloom, has written a book entitled "American Wasteland" in which he describes how Americans throw away almost half of their food...
Finally... why do you think we waste so much food? What could be done with the waste that we produce? Couldn't we plant spuds rather than throwing them away? Another important question to ask yourself is...
Would you eat this banana?