Genetically Modified Organisms

Genetically Modified Produce

Though controversial because of the lack of research on their long-term effects, the use of genetically modified (GM) foods are another promising solution for addressing global food shortages. Biologically modified crops that resist pests have already contributed to significant output gains in the United States, Canada, and South America, and although GMOs appear in only 25% of the world’s corn supply, they have increased the crop’s overall availability by 10%.

This productivity spike can be attributed to two virtues of GMOs: the technology allows for both extended growing seasons as well as higher yields per acre. Not only do these improvements help ease competition for water and land while increasing access to affordable food — they also improve quality of life for hardworking farmers.

Eliminating Waste From the Supply Chain

Technological innovation is also decreasing the amount of food wasted. It’s estimated that between 30 and 50% of total food produced in the world goes uneaten because of inefficiencies in supply chain processes. In the EU, 60 billion euros are wasted every year due to supply chain breakdowns. Around the world, food often spoils due to deficient (or nonexistent) storage and transportation, and bruised or imperfect produce is typically thrown away.

Eliminating Supply Chain Waste

Technology offers efficient and affordable ways to reduce this waste — from innovative harvesting equipment that reduces crop damage, to apps that connect individuals and organizations with perfectly edible (if ugly) food. Additionally, food and agriculture companies must prioritize sound supply chain management to reduce the time and cost of food distribution.

If we are to truly address global food shortages, however, we may need to fundamentally change our societal mindset towards food production. This cultural revolution is already beginning to take hold, in the form of increased urban or vertical farming and a push toward locally sourced foods. This change in attitude, coupled with technology-driven solutions, puts us well on our way to adequately and sustainably remaining in-step with global demands.

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