Examining future of food

Issue-based films

Examining future of food

Delhiites recently received a dose of thoughtfulness with Future Food: A series of documentaries on the world’s food resources and how we will feed our populations in the years to come.

A British NGO Television for the Environment (TVE) brought these six documentaries to the Capital to be screened over two days at the India Habitat Centre. Each of them dealt with a country and its most pressing food problems.      

Television for the Environment, with support from UNO’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), promotes films on environment protection worldwide. These range from subjects like climate change to gender equality and human rights to food crisis. Films supported by it are regularly screened on news channels globally (including BBC and NDTV) as well as often opened up to public screening.

Its representative in India, Arjun Pandey informs Metrolife, “Food crisis is one of the most alarming problems for humanity today. 80 million mouths are added to the earth’s dinner table every year. By 2050, the world’s population will have risen to around 9.5 billion and require 70 per cent more food than we grow today. How will we feed them? These are critical questions. Our films force people to think about them.”
Accordingly, the six films screened at IHC, examined the situation in Peru, Kenya, USA, India, Nigeria and China.

Old or New? from Peru describes the efforts of a new generation of chefs who are cooking up a revolution in social gastronomy using traditional ingredients and supporting traditional livelihoods. But can this model compete with agribusiness, processed food and GM crops to feed 9.5 billion people in the future? 

Food or Fuel? expresses the concerns of a Kenyan farmer Moses Shaha who sees biofuel crop Jatropha replacing food crops rapidly. Will fuel security ultimately lead to a food crisis? Likewise, Big or Small?  from USA examines the pressures faced by small-time farmers from big agribusinesses through the eyes of one Ron Meyer.

Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina believes it is his job to ensure Nigerians eat food grown in Nigeria only. He is fast eliminating the obstacles to self-sufficiency. This is Near or Far? On the other hand, Stay or Go? from China portrays the problem of youngsters moving to cities from villages. Who will grow China’s food? 

Lastly, in Fat or Skinny? (India), Tulika Verma is on a mission to ban junk food in Delhi’s schools. Western-style diets and processed food are becoming ever popular in the cities, while traditional, healthy and sustainable foods are being forgotten.
Director Arjun Pandey says, “It is important that we start analysing our options for the coming generations. The future of food is a looming question mark?”

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