National Geographic has launched an online portal, The Future of Food: How to Feed a Growing Planet, to explore the issues surrounding how people eat and the future of global food production. The initiative will aggregate content from an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine and digital-only material, covering topics such as sustainability, crop yield, food policy, climate change, aquaculture and more.
"We produce more food than ever, but could be better at getting it onto people's plates. ... The decisions we make now will determine whether or not we’re ready to feed 9 billion people by 2050,” states the narrator in the video anthem for the initiative titled “Investigating the Future of Food.”
In addition to feature stories, content will include blogs, animated motion graphics, videos, food facts of the day and news stories. Editors have invited five bloggers with different perspectives -- José Andrés, a chef; Mary Beth Albright, a food policy analyst; Maryn McKenna, a science blogger; Jasmine Wiggins, a casual foodie; and Rebecca Rupp, a food historian -- to contribute weekly to a food-related blog called The Plate. In mid-May, National Geographic will host a Google Hangout with leading experts to explore how eating seafood can be a sustainable choice, the first of several Hangouts planned throughout the year.
“We believe the future of food is a vital subject to explore with our audiences,” said Dennis Dimick, executive editor for the environment at National Geographic, in a National Geographic press release. “The new UN climate report shows that crop yields already are being adversely affected by a changing climate, and how we respond globally in creating a more resilient food system is very important now. But we also recognize that food is central to our culture and is a source of great pleasure and comfort to people. We want to ensure we tackle all aspects of food -- from the celebratory and fun to serious policy questions.”
The series began with the magazine’s May cover story by Jonathan Foley, “EAT: The New Food Revolution,” in which Foley explains five ways we can meet the food needs of 9 billion people in 2050.