Celebrating Solutions in Our Food System

Food Sustainability Media Awards

Today’s global food system faces numerous problems that inhibit the sustainable provision of sufficient and healthy food for all. As vast, global issues with serious implications for human and planetary health, it is vital that they are addressed.

The media is an important actor fulfilling this role by reporting on the issues and solutions around food security, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition. The Food Sustainability Media Award celebrates professional and emerging personnel putting forward solutions for good food- for people and the planet- to engage the public to make an equitable and sustainable future.

The 2018 Awards are centered around the following three paradoxes in our food system:

  • Hunger and obesity: For every undernourished person, there are two obese or overweight people in the world.
  • Food and fuel: A third of agricultural cereal crops are used to produce animal feed or biofuels despite hunger and malnutrition.
  • Waste and starvation: 1.3 billion tons of edible food wasted each year, four times the amount needed to feed the 815 million undernourished people around the world.

The available categories for the award include:

  • Written journalism- published and unpublished
  • Multimedia- published and unpublished

 

Here are two examples of winners last year:

“Food Wastage in Ghana” by Justice Baidoo

2017 Multimedia Published Winner

Justice Baidoo’s video looks at the paradox between waste and starvation in Ghana. Abankwakum, a village in the Brong Ahafo region, is one of the largest food producing regions in the country. It is also an area where much of the food grown is wasted. Poor roads are preventing smallholder farmers, such as Joyce Far, from transporting their cassava crops from fields to the marketplace. Cassava cannot be grown and harvested without rain but rains make Abankwakum unreachable by car- the principal way of transporting produce in Ghana. As such, crops are lost, affecting all actors in the food system. Smallholder farmers will have fewer resources with which to grow future yields. Gari processing factories are experiencing a decrease in production due to the shortage in cassava supply, putting factory jobs at risk.  As such, wasted cassava has negative economic consequences for all across the agriculture value chain.

This video provides a glimpse into a widespread problem occurring across Ghana. Nationally, a 2014 report estimates that half of the food grown in Ghana does not reach consumers. This is a worrying figure in and of itself but especially so when an estimated 2 million people are at a risk of hunger and malnutrition.

 

“India battles hunger amid wastage of USD 13 billion worth of food” by Uzmi Athar

2017 Written Unpublished Winner

New Delhi: Bhaskar struggles to finish his homework where he has to list the names of green leafy vegetables found in India. It is a tough task for an eight-year-old whose staple diet is rice and salt, with vegetables served only on festive occasions. He glances at his mother for help, but keeps quiet after realizing that it is the fourth time this week that she skipped her dinner. Bhaskar’s mother, Shakuni Bai, is not alone. She along with 194 million Indians go to bed hungry every night in a country that produces 15.65 million tonnes of surplus foodgrains.”

In this written piece, Uzmi Athar discusses the extremes of India’s waste and starvation paradox, as a range of factors undermine its food system and produce food insecurity. Consecutive droughts, demonetization and the hoarding of seeds are negatively effecting farmers’ ability to harvest crops. Additionally, the inadequate storage and distribution of food grains result in crop damage if not loss. These processes have contributed to a worrisome situation in which, according to a 2014 report, INR 926.51 billion or USD 14.36 billion in agriculture produce is lost nationally. Concurrently, an estimated 15% of India’s population experience undernutrition thought to be connected to the inadequate quantity or quality of staples as well as the unaffordability proteins. Athar explores the factors producing this phenomenon as well as the Indian government’s efforts to resolve these issues.

 

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Awards hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation and Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition.