Thought for Food is Really Giving People Food for Thought
by Lily Zhang, Senior, North Allegheny
Pictures by Maggie McKain, Senior, Karns City High School
As Jamie Oliver and One Young World speakers encourage delegates to truly consider the profound impact of food, another organization is gaining momentum in the eyes of youth around the world. Thought for Food, a non-profit organization founded by Christine R. Gould, is committed to encouraging the bright minds of today’s youth to find an effective means of feeding a future population of nine billion people.
Thought for Food is not directly affiliated with Jamie Oliver’s inspirational Food Revolution. Christine R. Gould, Founder of Thought for Food, mentioned that Oliver’s movement focuses on consumption while Thought for Food focuses on production. However, the overlap between the two is quite significant, and the Thought for Food project is becoming just as revolutionary in bridging the disconnect between the perceptions and the reality of food production and consumption.
Gould explained urgency behind maintaining this basic human need often taken for granted. Every day, one billion people suffer from under-consumption. Every day, just as many people over-consume. Furthermore, with over 30% of the world’s food simply wasted, the paradigm of food production and consumption is clearly flawed.
“We need innovation,” Gould declared, for agriculture dependent on fossil fuels simply cannot be sustained. That need to “think big” and “think bold” has attracted university students from around the globe, from the US to India to Uganda to Korea. The Thought for Food Global Challenge 2012 challenged 50 teams of five students to come up with their own ideas to address the food crisis, and the finalist teams were invited to attend the One Young World Summit as their prize.
The ideas and advancements have been astounding. For example, by following the European model of small refrigerators, Gould stated, the Americans would be forced to limit buying extra food, preventing much unnecessary waste. Urban farming, or growing crops vertically, could optimize space and growing conditions.
October 16th, 2012 was World Food Day, positioned a day before World Poverty Day and two days before the beginning of One Young World Summit. On that day, much communication and support for the movement was engendered around the world.
“The goal is to get young people mobilized and involved,” says Gould. Just as the effects of food are far-reaching, the areas of reform encompass multiple subjects, from architecture to technology to business and beyond. Thus, everyone is impacted by the food standards, but equally significantly, anyone can make an impact.