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Rockefeller’s $ 105 million climate-friendly food production plan

In this photo, provided by The Rockefeller Foundation, Stone Barns Seed Crop Director Jay Songlauer took a photo on April 7, 2021 at the Stone Barns Greenhouse in Tarrytown, NY. Innovative community-based ways to increase access to food and use sustainable environmental practices. Credit: William Rouse / Media RED via AP

The pandemic has surged global hunger, but now the war in Ukraine has made the problem much worse. Russia and Ukraine together supply 30% of the world’s wheat exports, so most of the world has lost access to food.


Currently, one of the country’s largest foundations is trying to address some of these challenges with a $ 105 million improvement plan. Food accessIncrease nutritional value, healthy food Promote food production in a way that is more widely available and harmless to the planet.

Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said the effort was the greatest nutritional effort in Rockefeller’s history.Over the next three years, the Good Food Strategy will bring 40 million people around the world to health. Sustainable food..

“Because of climate change Food price Even before Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine further destroyed the world’s food supply, it was already the best in 10 years. The world is now on the verge of a global humanitarian crisis. “

Foundations and other experts say that the way the world produces and consumes food is causing people and the planet to fail. So I came up with a new strategy that wants to shift the focus from increasing the amount of food to improving quality.

Rockefeller aims not only to increase access to healthy food at an affordable price, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in food systems and increase opportunities for small food producers to thrive. increase.

The Foundation has several innovative approaches to achieving these goals. For example, we are planning the following:

— Advise your doctor to prescribe healthy and cheap fruits and vegetables instead of medicines when appropriate. 10 health insurance companies are working with Rockefeller to test their ideas.

— Pay for health food at schools, hospitals, prisons, and other state government facilities.

— Help farmers switch production practices to approaches that reduce the release of carbon into the atmosphere after plowing the ground.

— Fund more small and medium-sized food businesses to diversify distributors and prevent supply chain problems.

This announcement is based on one of the most successful philanthropic efforts, the Green Revolution of the 1960s.

Rockefeller has funded technology to support food fuel production in ways to avoid hunger in the world’s poorest countries. But it lacked sustainability and fairness. That’s what today’s efforts are designed to work on, Foundation officials say.

Baron Seger, President of the United Nations World Food Program USA, agrees that something needs to be done now.Rockefeller donated $ 3.3 million to the program in 2021 Nutritional food For school lunch programs in Africa.

“We are facing the biggest crisis we have ever faced over food insecurity,” Seger said. “Today, there are 81 million people who do not have access to quality meals. They do not know where the next meal will come from. We have 45 million people marching, very in history. It’s an important moment. Towards hunger. “

Last year, Rockefeller published a report assessing all the ways the US food system impacts health, the environment, biodiversity, and livelihoods. It turns out that Americans paid an estimated $ 1.1 trillion in food production, processing, retail and wholesale costs in 2019. Food systemImpact of Climate change Including, the cost is $ 3.2 trillion annually.

One of the Rockefeller-funded people has implemented some of the ideas that are part of the Good Food Strategy.

Foodcorp, which received at least $ 500,000 from the Foundation last year in its efforts to provide healthy food to school children, has already had some success in influencing food policy.

In California, Food Corps last year advocated the passage of free meals for all laws. In Connecticut, a non-profit organization helped achieve the state’s first farm-to-school grant program. The program puts more local food into school meals, provides educators with more resources to teach students about nutrition, and maintains relationships with local farmers and producers.

Rockefeller is also working on the Food as Medicine program with healthcare company Kaiser Permanente. A total investment of over $ 2 million will be directed to three research studies assessing healthy food prescription programs for participants suffering from or at risk of diet-related illnesses. Both groups are building evidence to prove that agricultural prescriptions are healthier and cheaper than traditional medicines.

Kaiser’s Executive Director, Pamela Schwartz, said:

Another element of the Rockefeller program is its focus on changing the composition of food producers.

Roy Steiner, senior vice president of Rockefeller’s food grant work, said the pandemic revealed how vulnerable the supply chain was. And it doesn’t help that only a few major food distributors dominate the industry, he says. He said that the diversification of power and wealth in the food industry is healthier for the economy. That’s why part of the Good Food Strategy is to prioritize the small and medium-sized food business.

“It needs to be a diverse crop that can be cultivated by diverse farmers,” Steiner said. “Therefore, when things collapse, you have multiple players and multiple sources.”

Pandemics are not the only crisis that has exacerbated hunger. Climate change and conflicts in Ethiopia, Yemen and Ukraine also contribute, Steiner says.

“With a more regenerative and decentralized system, we wouldn’t be in such a crisis,” he said.

Mr. Seger, who visited the Ukrainian-Polish border last weekend, said the World Food Program is promoting the support of 3.1 million people in Ukraine. Food and drinking water shortages have been reported in the two cities at the mercy of the war, Kyiv and Kharkov. However, the resources of the World Food Program are beginning to decline.

According to Seger, the Rockefeller Foundation has taken a unique approach to improving food production, an approach that his organization is working on. He said the Foundation not only gives money, but also educates the general public about food and uses data and research to make decisions. He referred to Rockefeller’s “True Cost of Food” report, which analyzes the impact of food on people and the planet. Segar also cites Rockefeller’s Periodic Table of Food. This is an effort to create a database that analyzes the composition of foods.

Segar said his organization was able to use what it learned from Rockefeller to teach the Central American community about healthy eating.

Mr. Seger said that both the World Food Program and Rockefeller food A system that anyone can easily access.

“Getting the right nutrition at the right time can save lives,” Seger said.


The food crisis of the Ukrainian War requires action on the demand side: less animal products, less waste, and green agriculture


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Rockefeller’s $ 105 million climate-friendly food production plan

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