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The Food Fix
Welcome to The Food Fix, where we talk with innovators figuring out how to better feed the world.
Category: Fitness & Nutrition
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Followers (14)
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The Food Fix is produced by students and faculty at the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation at Michigan State University....


by The Food Fix
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June 19, 2017 09:25 AM PDT

There’s an application for buying, selling, dating, driving. How about one for saving food?

Olio is a free app on iPhone and Android that helps people share food. Co-founder Saasha Celestial-One wants Olio to lead the ‘Food Sharing Revolution.’

“We just want to seamlessly connect people everywhere to be able to share things, and that sharing becomes the new normal,” Celestial-One said.

Learn how the app works its inspiration and how the creators are cutting down on household food waste in this Food Fix interview with Celestia-One.

And check back Monday for a new idea in our series on how to make the world less hungry.

May 20, 2017 02:51 PM PDT

As part of our series, "10 ideas to make the world less hungry," Ben Muir talks to Bruno Basso, an ecosystem scientist at Michigan State University, about using legumes as a substitute for fertilizers.

Michigan State gave Basso the ‘innovation of the year award’ in 2016 for his work on crop-plant innovation and crop-plant management. He is now working with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization on innovative ways to quantify crop production at the end of each growing season.

Basso's idea to make the world less hungry is rooted in agronomy management.

May 20, 2017 12:42 PM PDT

In this episode of "10 ideas to make the world less hungry," reporter Ben Muir talks with Ellie Hollander, chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels America. The non-profit organization feeds people through more than 5,000 independent programs across the United States.

The struggle to hamper hunger begins with acknowledging “starvation as a pandemic behind closed doors,” she says. Rather than a new policy or innovation, fixing hunger might mean committing to ideas that already work.

Hollander thinks investing in Meals on Wheels to reach millions of homebound seniors is important.

May 20, 2017 12:28 PM PDT

By Max Johnston

One percent of food sent abroad by USAID is lost to food spoilage and spillage because of failed packaging, according to Mark Brennan, a researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

That may sound insignificant, but it amounts to losing roughly 10,000 metric tons of food and countless dollars that could be invested in feeding hungry people.

In the first installment of the Food Fix's new series “10 ideas to make the world less hungry,” Brennan suggests new methods of packaging to reduce food spoilage.

“As this food kind of moves its way through the supply chain from farm to beneficiary you have instances of the bags breaking," he said. "You have also instances of things getting wet, of insects crawling into bags.”

Listen to his idea here.

And come back every Monday for the next installment of "10 ideas to make the world less hungry."

May 20, 2017 12:17 PM PDT

If you had a magic wand that could make the world less hungry, what would you do? That’s the question that David Kramer, professor of Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics at Michigan State University, is trying to answer. Kramer and his team have made a magic wand of sorts, the MultispeQ, a handheld device that measures a plant’s health.

98 percent of farms are less than ten acres, according to David Kramer, professor of Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics at Michigan State University.

“They don’t have access to these things, and how do we bring these tools to them?” Kramer said.

In this episode Kramer talks about his technology and the importance of getting tools like the MultispeQ in the hands of farmers.

Photos courtesy of Michigan State University’s DOE Plant Research Laboratory.

April 21, 2017 05:30 AM PDT

When geographer Joe Messina first analyzed satellite images of Malawi farm fields, he figured he had made a mistake.

Almost everywhere he looked he found maize harvest declines in the East African nation over the previous decade. But this was the site of the Malawi Miracle, a fertilizer subsidy program so successful that it was lauded by researchers in scientific journals and by writers in the New York Times and The Economist.

It became a model program used to justify similar enormous investments by the international community in other African nations.

“I assumed I was wrong,” said Messina, a researcher at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

And so began a detective story recently published in the journal Nature Plants. It is a story that doesn’t prove Messina wrong. Rather, it reveals a series of missteps, assumptions, faulty data and a desire to confirm success that led other researchers astray.

April 05, 2017 12:54 AM PDT

In Uganda, farmers in rain-fed agricultural communities depend on irrigation. Without irrigation, they battle with fluctuating and unpredictable weather conditions, droughts and flooding. Crops don't do well and yields are low.

Researcher Abraham Salomon, of the University of California-Davis, is working in eastern Uganda, collaborating with local farmers, social advocates, and engineers on flexible and community-managed irrigation interventions. They’ve been installing and maintaining adaptable irrigation systems that allows tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other vegetables to thrive in the dry seasons and the unpredictable rainy seasons.

March 23, 2017 10:19 AM PDT

Decomposing human and animal waste has the power to change lives. While it might sound – and smell – funny, the power of poop lies in biogas, a renewable energy source produced during the breakdown of waste. The process yields a gas of about 60 percent methane that can be used for cooking, refrigeration, and other basic needs. The waste itself can also be processed and applied to fields to enrich the soil and improve crop production.

That's what waste engineer, Rebecca Larson, assistant professor professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been doing. She's partnered with Vianney Tumwesige, CEO of Green Heat, a Ugandan energy company, teamed up on a host of projects in Kampala, Uganda that demonstrate new ways to transform waste to resource.

This episode is our interview with Prof. Larson

March 16, 2017 07:13 AM PDT

Coconut is the largest stone fruit in the world. Sold in the food and beverage industry, harvested for construction purposes, used in cosmetics, and transformed into decorative objects, the coconut has many applications. While a quarter of the world’s coconut production stems from the Philippines, the country’s coconut farmers are the poorest around the world. Farmers earn about $2 a day. Climate hazards, pests and unfavorable market market conditions impede the overall production.

To improve the viability of coconut farming in the Philippines, researcher Ana Herrera won a grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation to implement FarmerLink, a Grameen Foundation project that connects farmers with agents who teach them how to operate a successful coconut farm. It’s called FarmerLink. And it’s key component is an Early Warning System which alerts farmers to potential hazards from natural shifts in the environment.

February 20, 2017 11:10 AM PST

The onion has been a part of the human diet for more than 7,000 years. But it’s not just for eating. Onions have been used as currency and even exchanged as a gift!

Bacterial diseases are the most significant threat to their production. Despite considerable effort to control these diseases with chemicals, farmers still lose a lot of onions.

Kim Eang Tho, a doctoral student in the department of plant, soil and microbial science at Michigan State University, is studying the source of bacterial pathogens in onions to find strategies to better manage diseases. He spoke with Ali Hussain, a reporter for The Food Fix.

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