Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture.  A seminar by Mihail Roco, Hongda Chen, and Guillame Gruere on Nanotechnology, Food, Agriculture, and Development will be given at IFPRI in Washington on June 18.  The abstract of the seminar promises this: 

"Imagine eating foods without absorbing harmful allergens and cholesterol into your body.  Imagine farmlands  in developing countries with environmental sensors that automatically release pesticides and fertilizers only when absolutely necessary.  Imagine going to your nearest market and being able to modify the foods you purchase to suit your nutritional needs and tastes.  The first two concepts are fast becoming a reality. The third appears to be on the horizon. These are some of the revolutionary means by which nanotechnology* promises to transform the way we grow, process, and eat food.".

More here.   And here.  Some find the prospects of nanotechnology in food "disturbing".

posted June 6, 2008 at 11:20 a.m.


IFPRI's webpage on Food Prices.  With lots of links to IFPRI research.  Click here.

posted June 6, 2008 at 11 a.m.


Neo Malthusian prediction.  A recent demonstration that Malthus's big idea is not dead.  The Coming Famine.

posted June 6, 2008 at 8:30 a.m.


Bt Crops do not harm non-pests.   "Genetically modified (GM) plants that use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis),,,to kill pests won't harm the pests' natural enemies, according to...Cornell entomologists....Much of the debate surrounding the use of GM crops focuses on their effect on organisms that aren't pests.  The research showed that GM plants expressing Bt insecticidal proteins are not toxic to a parasite that lives inside the caterpillar of the diamondback moth, a devastating worldwide vegetable pest."  More here.

posted June 6, 2008 at 7:50 a.m.


Water Scarcity:  The Real Food Crisis  An opinion piece by British journalist Fred Pierce,  author of When Rivers Run Dry.

posted June 6, 2008 at 7:45 a.m.


Global Warming Legislation.  Lieberman-Warner with cap-and-trade to come for a vote today.  "“This bill is going down in flames."  Senator Bob Corker, R-Tennessee.

posted June 6, 2008 at 7:30 a.m.


Watered Down Resolution Agreed to at Emergency Food Summit in Rome.  "A world summit on hunger veered near collapse. ... Ultimately the declaration was adopted pledging to ... eliminate hunger ... through actions including easing of trade barriers and the supply of seed and fertilizer to poor farmers." More here.

posted June 6, 2008 at 7:20 a.m.


Rebecca Blackwell Photos from Senegal.    Search Washington Post for "Senegal"  and follow links.

posted June 6, 2008 at 7:10 a.m.


Pascal Lamy WTO Chief.  Doha Revived.  "We are almost there on agricultural goods."  But what US concessions will be acceptable to a Congress that just enacted a new farm bill after months and months of struggle, and that just refused to approve a Colombia US free trade agreement?

posted June 6, 2008 at 7 a.m.


Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army.  One reason economic progress in sub-Saharan Africa is difficult to achieve.  From Michael Gerson's oped column in the Washington Post.

"A friend, the head of a major aid organization, tells how his workers in eastern Congo a few years ago chanced upon a group of shell-shocked women and children in the bush. A militia had kidnapped a number of families and forced the women to kill their husbands with machetes, under the threat that their sons and daughters would be murdered if they refused. Afterward the women were raped by more than 100 soldiers; the children were spectators at their own private genocide."

posted June 6, 2008 6:40 a.m.