In Case You Missed it: This Week in Review

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On Friday, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted its Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama, with G8 and African leaders, businesses, international organizations, and civil society—including the musician and activist Bono—discussed new activities to advance global agricultural development and food and nutrition security in Africa. Nourishing the Planet covered the event in a series of live blogs; check them out here: Notes on the “Improving Nutrition” Panel, Obama Calls for an End to “the Injustice of Chronic Hunger” at Chicago Council Symposium, Chicago Council Symposium: The New Way of Aid, and Chicago Council: Business and Innovation in Agriculture.

(Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

The Washington Post published an editorial this week highlighting President Barack Obama’s agricultural development strategy, termed The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which he unveiled at the Chicago Council Symposium.

We also highlighted domestic efforts to reduce hunger this week. In this post, we profile Halfsies, a social initiative that offers restaurant-goers the option of ordering half of a normal portion, with the remaining value of the dish being put to better use. Americans waste 50 percent more food today than in 1974. At the same time, portion sizes have grown considerably, 66 percent of Americans are now considered overweight, and more than 50 million Americans are hungry.

Further highlights from this past week:

In this post, we discussed a TED Talk by Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, about agriculture as “the other inconvenient truth.” In his talk, Foley argues that agriculture is in fact the “single most powerful force unleashed on this planet since the end of the Ice Age.” Today, we devote 16 million square kilometers – an area the size of South America – to croplands, and 30 million square kilometers – an area the size of Africa – to pasture for livestock.

Our Innovation of the Week post highlighted the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass (KYF2). The KYF2 Compass is an online multimedia tool designed to help consumers, farmers, ranchers, and communities navigate the many relevant USDA-supported local food projects, and to learn more about local and regional food systems. Both the KYF2 Initiative and Compass are responses to the rapid growth of local and regional food systems in the United States.

And in this post we celebrate Nourishing the Planet Advisory Group Member Brother Dave Andrews, who received the prestigious Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award for his commitment to enhancing the life of rural people. Andrews has worked for over 30 years on sustainable development, food and water issues, and public policy, both nationally and internationally, and has a long-standing commitment to bettering the spiritual, social, and economic lives of rural people. The award is the highest honor given by the Rural Sociology Society.

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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