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10 Innovations That Tackle World HungerOne of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is the elimination of poverty. This is necessary to achieve worldwide prosperity. Billions of dollars have been spent on projects attempting to eradicate and reduce poverty. However, many of these projects have failed. The eradication of poverty has been an international focus for several years. While its causes are worrying, its effects are more damaging.

As poverty grows, individuals and communities around the world have been motivated to act. Private companies are growing socially responsible. Individuals are boycotting companies that exploit communities suffering from poverty. And nongovernmental organizations are establishing independent and unique projects. More significantly, entrepreneurs and innovators are inventing products to help reduce poverty. This article lists 10 innovations that tackle world hunger.

10 Innovations that Tackle World Hunger

  1. Safari Seat
    Access to wheelchairs in rural areas of developing countries is incredibly low. Safari Seat is one invention that tackles this issue. Its production is low cost and the company is located in Kenya. Safari Seat is made up of bicycle parts and controlled by hand levers and durable wheels.
  2. NIFTY Cup
    Child malnutrition in Africa is a major obstacle. Many infants struggle to nurse, which can ultimately lead to death. It costs as little as $1 to produce a NIFTY Cup, however, its impact is tremendous. The cup is designed to make milk more easily drinkable is also reusable.
  3. LifeStraw
    This innovation is one of the most important among the 10 innovations that tackle world hunger. LifeStraw addresses access to clean water. Eleven percent of the world’s population lacks access to drinkable water. And the effects of drinking contaminated water can be deadly. The straw-like product includes a filtration system that filters contaminated water as it is used.
  4. M-Farm
    M-Farm is a digital technology allowing Kenyan farmers to receive up-to-date pricing information on their products. This eliminates the corruption of middlemen who usually receive more profit than deserved. Kenyan farmers particularly suffer from issues with middlemen as they lack high levels of internet access.
  5. Wonderbag
    Areas where poverty is present usually lack basic needs, such as access to electricity. However, Wonderbag doesn’t let that stop anyone from cooking. Wonderbag is a slow cooker that requires no electricity to use, allowing those without electricity to still cook their food.
  6. Feedie
    Feedie is a project run by the Lunchbox Fund which allows you to donate a meal to a child somewhere in the world simply by sharing the picture you took off your food. This is significant as social media already encourages food bloggers to share pictures of food, making Feedie an easy way to help tackle world hunger.
  7. Mazzi
    Developing countries often lack methods for collecting food without spilling and wasting it. This occurs specifically in the collection of milk. Mazzi is a 10-liter plastic container that is designed for collecting and transporting milk safely with no losses.
  8. Eco-Cooler
    Eco-Cooler is a simple invention that cools down unbearably heated huts. It is made up of recycled bottles that are built up in a way that attracts cool air into homes, helping keep conditions cool for both people and their food without air conditioning or refrigeration.
  9. Lucky Iron Fish
    Lucky Iron Fish is an iron, fish-shaped object that can be placed in a pot of boiling water when cooking to enhance iron levels in the meal. Iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world. Therefore, Lucky Iron Fish is a significant innovation in tackling world hunger because it helps those without access to iron-rich foods.
  10. Humanium Metal
    This initiative turns disarmed weapons from areas of conflict into “humanium” blocks by recycling metal from destructed guns. Humanium Metal then sells these blocks to companies, for instance, blocks sold to H&M are used for buttons. Violent conflicts are a major cause of poverty and world hunger. Therefore, this unique approach recycles destructive materials for a constructive cause.

Njoud Mashouka
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 hunger nonprofitsAccording to the World Food Programme, some 815 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy and active life, with a vast majority of the world’s hungry people living in developing countries. With many governments struggling to provide aid to their citizens and a calculated $3.2 billion needed per year to start reaching children across the world, many individuals have banded together to bring about change on their own. These top 10 hunger nonprofits have started making a change in the world in the hopes of ending world hunger once and for all.

List of Top 10 Hunger Nonprofits

  1. A Growing Culture: This organization works to boost farmer independence by providing them with the means to adapt to change. It also helps farmers in having a say in the system, something that they currently lack because of industrial farming. A Growing Culture has been working on creating a farmer networking program to connect agriculture enthusiasts from around the world to boost innovative ideas and creating a lasting food system for all.
  2. Bioversity International: This research nonprofit works on saving agricultural and tree biodiversity in order to improve nutrition security as well as to fight climate change. The Bioversity International is a part of an international food security research partnership and works with low-income countries to work on food management practices and new policies to protect biodiversity within their nation.
  3. Community Alliance with Family Farmers: This organization focuses on farming and food systems through many grassroots programs. It tackles current challenges to the food system and supports family farmers and those who live in low-income populations. As an organization, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers tries its best to uphold sustainability within food and farming systems.
  4. Agricultural Biodiversity Community: Made up of more than 100 individuals and organizations, the Agricultural Biodiversity Community shares the idea that agricultural biodiversity can save the world. By utilizing conservation techniques and the development of food security in many regions, this organization seeks to enhance food security on a global scale.
  5. Green Shoots Foundation: Based in six different countries in Asia, the Green Shoots Foundation aims to improve healthcare and education through a program called the Food and Agriculture and Social Entrepreneurship program. These programs combine agriculture, peer education and community building to help communities in Asia create a better future for all.
  6. Groundswell International: As one of the top 10 hunger nonprofits, Groundswell International is unique in that it is a global partnership consisting of multiple nonprofits, local organizations and communities that all work to combat food insecurity. It also works to improve and start healthy food systems in many low-income countries and teaches new farming techniques to help improve community health.
  7. Heifer International: This global nonprofit aims to erase poverty through community development. It helps train families in sustainable food practices and its goal is to increase self-reliance among families. From teaching environmentally friendly farming techniques to helping families improve their lives, Heifer International is an effective organization.
  8. IFOAM Organics International: At the center of the organic movement worldwide is the IFOAM organization. IFOAM’s goal is to improve transparency with organic standards and balance local adaption and food diversity. Operating in over 100 countries worldwide, IFOAM is a force to be reckoned with.
  9. INGA Foundation: The Inga alley cropping is an alternative to the slash and burn agriculture practice that the INGA Foundation teaches to farmers and communities globally. This practice restores degraded land and protects rainforests from destruction. Soil fertility is retained and trees also benefit from this method of agriculture.
  10. Kiss the Ground: With the mission statement “We can do this!”, Kiss the Ground tries to balance climate using technology and science and its goal is to recreate the food system. Every initiative this organization starts is based on a message of a hopeful future.

The top 10 hunger nonprofits all have a similar goal: to end world hunger. Stopping world hunger isn’t easy but these organizations have taken on the challenge and work tirelessly for a better future. We need more individuals and organizations to do the same.

– Michael Huang
Photo: Flickr

End World Hunger GMOs
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals whose genetic codes have been altered by the insertion of genes from a different plant or animal in order to gain advantageous traits. Plants can be modified, for example, to better resist disease, pests and drought.

GMOs undergo rigorous testing (a period ranging from five to eight years) conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to make sure the genetically modified food is safe for human consumption. Currently, there is no legislation requiring food packagers to label the genetically modified food that sits on supermarket shelves.

AgriLife Research at Texas A & M investigated the introduction of spinach proteins into citrus trees to help protect them against citrus greening, a disease responsible for millions of dollars in citrus crop losses annually. The spinach protein-infused citrus trees were less susceptible to citrus greening compared to normal citrus trees, allowing a larger crop to be harvested for consumption.

 

GMOs Tackle World Hunger

 

With the success of many GMO projects, research is being done to determine how this technology can be used to address the issue of world hunger. Modified crops that can benefit developing countries include C4 Rice, which is being funded by the Gates Foundation. Rice naturally photosynthesizes through the C3 pathway, which is less efficient than the C4 pathway utilized primarily by grass crops such as maize and sugarcane. Converting the cellular structure of rice from C3 to C4 will allow the crop to support more people than is currently possible. While a single hectare of land in Asia produces enough rice to feed 27 people, the International Rice Research Institute has estimated that by 2050, that same hectare will need to produce enough rice to feed 43 people, a problem that genetically modified C4 rice may be able to address.

Since rice provides one-fifth of the calories consumed by people worldwide, more efficient rice crops have the potential to combat world hunger related to population growth.  Other projects, such as editing and deleting genetic information in crops using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, are making headway in an effort to produce crops that are less reliant on chemical pesticides and more adaptable to inhospitable growing conditions.

GMOs have the potential to help solve food production issues in the future, making a dent in the fight against global poverty. Yet it is important to recognize the reality of and work to address the downsides, as the introduction of GMO crops (large, industrialized yields) to a country’s economy could change local farming practices (smaller, local yields), may dominate their food markets, can harm the environment through the required pesticides and can result in large-scale monocultures.

– Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr

Hunger_Food_wasteIn the San Francisco Bay area, Komal Ahmad has a dream to solve world hunger. She is dedicating her life to feed people around the country one city at a time. Her vision began when she was a senior at the University of California, Berkeley. She calls hunger “the world’s dumbest problem” and has created a simple solution through an app called Copia.

Copia is the basis of a technological development that is expected to feed a million people this year alone. Users identify themselves as either food-donors or food-recipients. Copia food donors can be anyone – grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, catering companies, etc. When a company designates itself as a donor, it simply has to enter the amount of food left over in pounds. Then, a Copia designated driver will pick up the extra food and distribute it to nonprofit organizations that are in the most need at the time.

So far, companies have donated over 830,000 pounds of food to feed just under 700,000 people. During Super Bowl 50, the Copia team recovered 14 tons of food – that’s enough to fill four 16-foot-long refrigerated trucks! This weekend alone fed 23,000 people–one of the most successful feeds in Copia’s history.

However, Copia is not just being of use in the Bay area. European countries’ senior government officials in Austria and Germany have reached out to Ahmad inquiring about bringing the technology overseas for Syrian migrants. Ahmad stated, “If I was going to dedicate my life to something, it wouldn’t be something small scale. It would be something I want to grow globally.”

In order to help Ahmad’s movement, Toyota named her as one of Toyota’s Mothers of Invention, which recognizes women whose entrepreneurial accomplishments make an influence. As a result, Ahmad received a $50,000 Toyota Driving Solutions grant. Consequently, this honor has allowed Ahmad to share her message with more of the world and grow her business, to help solve world hunger.

Copia continues to flourish today and for anyone who is looking to make a difference in the world, Ahmad shared her thoughts: “People may think you’re crazy, they might even discourage you, but if you know your truth, if you know what you’re doing is the right thing to do, let that be your guiding light, and stop at absolutely nothing until you achieve what you want.”

Rachel Hutchinson

Photo: Flickr

caterpillar_foundation
The “Together.Stronger.” initiative, started by the Caterpillar Foundation works to alleviate poverty across the globe. “The world’s nations have united around the UN’s Global Goals that will guide international development for the next 15 years, and now it’s time for citizens in all communities to unite as well,” the organization says.

The “Together.Stronger.” approach is not one of competition, but one of collaboration towards a similar goal.

“No one individual, no one corporation, no one organization can do it themselves,” says Michele Sullivan, President of the Caterpillar Foundation. “But together, we are stronger.”

“Caterpillar has learned from its business and years of philanthropic work that the bigger the project, the better the team needs to be,” she says. “Together. Stronger is our effort to build the best team possible… because ending extreme poverty is something that will take all of us.”

To accomplish this, the platform is based on three areas of focus:

• Stockholders: Delivering superior returns through the cycles.

• People: Attracting and developing the best talent.

• Customers: Taking pride in helping others succeed.

Caterpillar works to bring the world together to fix a problem that affects us all. With this in mind, the foundation works to create global citizens: a people that aren’t just citizens of a town or a country, but of the globe at large.

“The world is better when everyone stands together. Because together, we truly are stronger.”

Katherine Martin

Sources: Caterpillar, Global Citizen, ONE, Scene7

end_global_hungerThe concept of poverty can be difficult to grasp, especially when it is far removed from our everyday lives.

While we may know that families go to bed hungry every night because they cannot afford to put dinner on the table, without tangible reminders that 925 million people around the world suffer from the effects of hunger, that knowledge often gets pushed to the background.

Overpopulation has been the most frequently blamed cause of starvation and global hunger, but there is more than enough food grown each year to feed the seven billion people on the planet. Then how is it that 2.5 million children die of starvation every year?

The answer to that question is complicated and has many contributing factors, but one reason is that a vast majority of the food grown today is fed to animals. The animal agriculture business has grown dramatically in the past 40 years, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Global meat production is projected to more than doubt from 229 million [tons] in 2001 to 465 million [tons] in 2050,” the organization states. In order to sustain the increasing demand for animal byproducts, farmers have to grow or purchase more and more feed for their growing stock of animals.

The amount of grain produced today is enough to feed the entire world twice over, but 70 percent of that grain goes towards feeding livestock. Half of the water consumed in the U.S. is used to grow grain for cattle feed.

The water necessary for meat breeding equals about 190 gallons per animal per day, which is ten times more than the average Indian family uses in a day.

Meat in general, but specifically beef, is an incredibly inefficient food source. In order to raise a cow to the necessary size for consumption, 157 million metric tons of grain and vegetable protein is used to produce a mere 28 metric tons of animal protein.

When that is scaled to the industrial scope the cattle industry is currently at, the massive amount of calories that could be consumed by humans but are instead fed to cattle, is tremendous. If these calories were redistributed to feed humans instead of animals, it could help end global hunger.

In 2010, a UN report said, “A global shift towards a vegan diet [one that does not include any animal products] is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.” The report claims that the western meat and dairy rich diets have become simply unsustainable.

According to the same report, the meat and dairy industry account for 70 percent of global freshwater consumption, 38 percent of total land use and 19 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The vast amount of resources directed towards producing meat and dairy products is creating a food distribution issue. While there is enough food being grown, not enough of it is going directly towards feeding people, especially people in poverty.

Brittney Dimond

Sources: Global Issues, Live58, The Guardian, Gentle World, FAO
Photo: Flickr

tacos
Children and teens have the ability to make a colossal difference in the lives of others. As future thinkers and leaders, their thoughts and actions will shape and change our world. Bella Stone, a 10-year-old girl from southwest Oklahoma, is determined to help the homeless and hungry. She has organized an event called Taco Tuesdays, which provides tacos for those who are homeless.

Stone believes strongly in helping the less fortunate and constantly asks her mom, “Can we help them? Can we help them? Can we help them?”When asked how she got her idea, she said, “I see a bunch of homeless people with no food, always saying that they’re retired and they have nothing.”

On Tuesdays, she makes about 40 tacos. James Miller, a homeless man who receives Stone’s tacos, said, “She’s taken this on as a mission, and she won’t stop. She’s just outstanding for a 10-year-old child.”

Forget Taco Bell — Miller claims that Stone’s tacos are even more delicious. The tacos have even come to represent her goals to end world hunger. She said, “I know I can’t solve it all by myself, but I want to be one of the people who helps solve world hunger.” Stone hopes to make Taco Tuesdays a class project and also continues to engage her mother and community with taco-making.

As one young mind tackles the issue of feeding the poor, there is hope that other young minds will discover solutions to eradicate world issues such as hunger. To help donate to Stone’s Taco Tuesdays, you can find information on the Unity Lawton Facebook Page.

-Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: Facebook, KSWO News
Photo: KSWO News

sustainable_soil_management
Although 795 million people worldwide are still undernourished, global hunger has been steadily declining in recent years. This is due to a combination of factors, such as social protection programs, agricultural development measures, and inclusive economic growth in developing nations. So far, 72 countries have reached the Millenium Development Goal target of halving the hungry population by 2015. However, completely eliminating global hunger will be difficult with the looming threat of climate change.

Climate change has already begun affecting food production, and could increase the risk of hunger by 20 percent by 2050. The world has seen an increase in the number and intensity of both floods and droughts, which can destroy crops and necessary infrastructure. Rising sea levels can render land unsuitable for growing crops, and glacial melt can affect water quality. Higher temperatures, along with too much or too little rainfall, can decrease both the quality and quantity of crops.

The decrease in food production caused by climate change disproportionately affects those living in poverty. With less food being produced, prices will spike, meaning that many will be unable to afford to feed themselves and their families. It is time to focus on environmentally friendly methods of maintaining or increasing current levels of food production in order to continue effectively fighting world hunger.

Quality soil is the foundation for successful agricultural systems and food security. It is resilient to flood and drought, and its stores of carbon contribute to climate change mitigation. However, many do not recognize that soil is a non-renewable resource, and therefore do not understand the need for sustainable soil management.

Soil degradation is caused by unsustainable land use practices and climate extremes, and negatively impacts food security. A 60 percent increase in demand for food is expected by 2050, but with 25 percent of usable soil highly degraded and 44 percent moderately degraded, it will be difficult to keep up this level of production without intervention. Sustainable soil management needs to be prioritized on global development agendas.

There is still progress to be made in ending world hunger, and focusing on sustainable soil management can help to feed more of the world’s population. Governments need to recognize the issue of soil degradation and invest in appropriate land management projects. They also need to effectively regulate contaminants that impact soil quality, while focusing specifically on protecting organic, carbon-rich soils such as peatlands and permafrost. Systems and technologies that can produce more food using less soil will be especially important. Feeding the world’s people in the face of climate change requires a close look at the most basic requirement of food production: quality soil.

Jane Harkness

Sources: FAO, WFP 1, WFP2
Photo: Flickr

Food+Share+Filter
Listen up smartphone users! It’s never been easier to fight world hunger.

Taking food shots with your smartphone and sharing them on Instagram or Twitter has become a huge craze. This new app, the first supportive Instagram filter, lets you post those photos and help a good cause to fight world hunger.

The aim for FoodShareFilter, an app created by DDB Spain, is to raise money for an El Salvadoran charity called Manos Unidas. The charity promotes development and preventing hunger in third-world countries.

All you have to do is download the filter from the Apple Store or Google Play, take the picture, and post it using #FoodShareFilter. The income from each app download is donated to the charity.

In addition, every time a user takes a photo of their food and applies #FoodShareFilter, it immediately adds the message “This picture helps millions of people not to suffer hunger,” and shares it on your Instagram page. That way, you raise awareness while posting photos.

Although FoodShareFilter is in Spanish, an English version is also available.

FoodShareFilter was launched late last week. It is available in the Apple Store for $0.99 and in Google Play for $1.16.

Katie Brockman

Source WKBW
Photo FoodShareFilter

saylove
Cody Belew of The Voice released his single “Say Love” on April 1. Proceeds from the song will benefit the non-profit anti-hunger organization Heifer International.

Cody Belew was raised on his family’s farm in Arkansas, near the Heifer International headquarters in Little Rock. As an adult he realized that Heifer had a tangible solution for ending world hunger, and decided to use his voice to support its goals.

“Say Love” is written as a call to action for everyone to become involved in the fight against hunger. Belew recently traveled to Ecuador to meet project families, and has also visited Heifer beneficiaries in his home state of Arkansas.

Heifer International fights poverty and hunger through sustainable contributions to struggling families and communities. Heifer International empowers families to become self-reliant by providing agricultural training and donations of livestock. In exchange for livestock and training, families who receive assistance from Heifer then pass on the animal’s offspring to another family in need. This strategy, known as Passing on the Gift, is at the heart of Heifer International’s mission to spread peace and security.

For information about how to help end world poverty and hunger through Heifer International, visit the organization’s Get Involved page. Click here to watch the video for “Say Love” by Cody Belew.

– Kat Henrichs

Source: Broadway World
Photo: Heifer International