Launch­ing ideas for bet­ter food, BET­TER WORLD

mailife - - Health -

by JONE KALOUNIVITI pho­tos SUP­PLIED

For much of the world, eat­ing bet­ter means hav­ing more food to stay alive. But for many, those days are past and more doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean bet­ter. Both eat­ing too much un­healthy food and not get­ting enough healthy food can cause an in­crease in se­ri­ous problems such as poor men­tal de­vel­op­ment, non com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and avoid­able deaths. Cue for those with new ideas about how to nour­ish the world’s pop­u­la­tion. There is $5 mil­lion at stake for in­no­va­tions submitted by 7De­cem­ber. The Aus­tralian Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade (DFAT) In­no­va­tionXchange, and the US Agency of In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID) are pro­mot­ing a new in­no­va­tion chal­lenge, LAUNCH Food: a global call for in­no­va­tions to trans­form food and nu­tri­tion sys­tems. It was launched at a Food Revo­lu­tion Din­ner in New York ear­lier this year. DFAT and USAID are call­ing in­no­va­tors, en­trepreneurs, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als from around the world to put for­ward new so­lu­tions for im­prov­ing the health of the world’s peo­ple through bet­ter nu­tri­tion. Aus­tralian Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs, Julie Bishop an­nounced the chal­lenge by say­ing that “in our re­gion about half the chil­dren in coun­tries close to Aus­tralia, a first world de­vel­oped econ­omy, are suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of un­der nu­tri­tion. “Para­dox­i­cally, obe­sity lead­ing to the bur­den of chronic dis­ease is at epi­demic levels. For the first time we have a gen­er­a­tion that has a shorter life span than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. This can­not con­tinue.” “Through LAUNCH Food – a part­ner­ship with USAID – we will be gath­er­ing the best and bright­est ideas and putting $5 mil­lion into those that can ac­tu­ally be turned into re­al­ity to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to lives of peo­ple around the world.” Beth Dun­ford, As­sis­tant to the Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the USAID Bureau for Food Se­cu­rity said: “We have to do things rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent. We’re see­ing stunt­ing rates – that’s the rates of chronic mal­nu­tri­tion – of up­wards of 30 to 50 per cent in the Pa­cific, the area that we’re tar­get­ing. This rate of mal­nu­tri­tion means that one in two chil­dren won’t have their men­tal abil­ity de­vel­oped well enough to re­ally par­tic­i­pate in the global world… “that’s a prob­lem that we need to ur­gently ad­dress,” Dun­ford said. Stu­art Gill from LAUNCH said that “the chal­lenges pro­duced by our cur­rent food sys­tem are felt most acutely in the Pa­cific. In a very real sense, it is the ca­nary in the coal mine for the rest of the world.” This means the Pa­cific is pro­vid­ing an in­di­ca­tion of what can hap­pen through­out the world if the nu­tri­tion problems are not tack­led. LAUNCH Food is search­ing the globe for in­no­va­tions to dis­rupt the food sys­tem so that it works for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially those who are most vul­ner­a­ble. LAUNCH has been har­ness­ing the power of col­lec­tive in­no­va­tion to change life for the bet­ter since 2010. Pow­ered by Se­condMuse and founded by NASA, NIKE Inc, USAID and the US Depart­ment of State, LAUNCH works on find­ing and fos­ter­ing new, break­through ideas and ways of build­ing a more sus­tain­able world. LAUNCH has sup­ported life chang­ing, sus­tain­able so­lu­tions in wa­ter, health, en­ergy, ma­te­ri­als and waste. Hun­dreds of in­no­va­tors have ac­cepted the chal­lenge. LAUNCH has so far sup­ported and speeded up the de­vel­op­ment of more than 80 in­no­va­tions, which have col­lec­tively re­ceived some $95 mil­lion in fund­ing. LAUNCH Food is the lat­est chal­lenge backed by Aus­tralia’s DFAT In­no­va­tionXchange and USAID.

Food launch in­no­va­tors - Asia Pa­cific

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