In Case You Missed it: This Week in Review

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This week, the CGIAR Consortium, representing the world’s largest global agriculture research partnership, was officially granted International Organization status. Click here to read about what that means for the Consortium’s future work to alleviate global hunger and poverty.

Photo credit: Bernard Pollack

In this post, we highlighted the latest video from the UN Food and Agriculture’s Ending Hunger campaign, which discussed the need for improved rural infrastructure to successfully eliminate global hunger. And in this post we highlighted a recent TEDxManhattan talk by Kerry McLean, Director of Community Development for The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, who discussed the advantages of the New York City Green Cart program.

Highlights from this past week:

In this guest post, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Peter McPherson, and Dartmouth College sophomore, Daniel Bornstein, discussed the importance of partnerships between U.S. and African universities. These partnerships are aimed at building the African institutional and human capacity to tackle food security. They have the ability not only to improve agricultural education in African universities, but to fundamentally transform them into intellectual and scientific centers that can take on the region’s food security challenges.

In 2008, the Pew Center on the States reported that Vermont, Michigan, Oregon, Connecticut, and Delaware spent more on prisons than higher education, and the ratio of prison to education spending was increasing. Prisons receive billions of dollars each year in government funding, yet national recidivism rates continue to hover at around 66 percent. Following the economic recession, budgets have been slashed, forcing penitentiaries and post-release programs to cut spending.  Considered non-essential and expensive, garden programs are often the first to be cut, yet they have proven to be successful in not only reducing recidivism rates and improving rehabilitation, but also providing fresh healthy food to inmates and surrounding communities. In this post, Nourishing the Planet presents five innovative programs around the country that are proof of what gardening programs can accomplish.

And our indigenous vegetable of the week is the giant swamp taro, a plant native to the Philippines that has dozens of varieties thriving on most of the tropical islands in the Pacific. Giant swamp taro is grown and harvested in small patches for its underground tubers, called corms. Swamp taro corms are prepared in several ways, from roasting to grating to baking the corm whole. The corm should be eaten or preserved within two days of harvesting, and properly managed gardens can produce them year-round. The young leaves of giant swamp taro are sometimes eaten by islanders as a vegetable, and the stalks produce fiber used in weaving.

Now it’s your turn: What were your favorite posts from the week? What do you hope we’ll write about next week? Let us know in the comments!

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

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