“Now is the time for us to act.”
The 2050 benchmark of us losing the capacity to produce food the way we currently do is growing closer and closer. And while it's hard to enact policies to change the future of food, former United States President Barack Obama just delivered a powerful message on how we can all shape the future of food, and what that future needs to look like.
At the Seeds and Chips Conference in Milan, Italy, President Obama emphasized a dire need to begin acting to create a better future for food, declaring that "now is the time for us to act."
His 90-minute speech and discussion with former White House food policy advisor Sam Kass highlighted the need to associate climate change with our food systems, since its impact is already beginning to be felt around the world.
"For all the challenges that we face, this is the one that will define the contours of this century, more dramatically perhaps than any other. No nation [...] will be immune from the impacts of climate change."
Obama also looks to technology and more traditional agricultural practices combining with science and entrepreneurship to shape the future of food in big ways. To him, the future of food is this:
“The path to a sustainable food future will require unleashing the creative power of our best scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs, backed by public investment and private investment to deploy new innovations and climate-smart agriculture. Better seeds, better storage. Crops that grow with less water. Crops that grow in harsher climates. Mobile technologies that put more agriculture data [...] into the hands of farmers so they know what to plant and where to plant, how to plant and how it will sell.”
That future ensures that we can produce the food needed to feed the billions on this planet along with those to come without trashing our environment beyond repair.
Along with that innovation, Obama called for the creation of a "food culture that introduces a demand for more healthier, more sustainable food," since healthier food can lead to healthier lives and reductions in healthcare costs — a major issue of concern for the United States right now.