With the global population expected to rise to 10 billion in the next three decades, the UN predicts that food production will need to double by 2050. This expectation has raised questions on how this can be done in an environmentally sustainable way, given the threat that climate change poses to our land and to food production.
The food production issue was brought into sharp focus in 2020 when travel restrictions caused by Covid-19, led to the shortage of some food stuffs across the world, especially on the onset of the pandemick.
In a new eight-part multi-platform series called Follow the Food, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, BBC World News and BBC.com explore the stories behind feeding the world’s ever-growing population. The series will examine how farming, science, AI technology and the consumer can overcome this profound challenge and asks whether we can do so in a way that doesn’t harm the planet.
James Wong, ethnobotanist and presenter of Follow the Food, said, “Incredibly, our food system, from the farmers and scientists to the shelf-stackers and truck drivers, ensured a continuous, affordable, safe and adequate food supply throughout the global pandemic. The resilience of the food system, and its ability to keep functioning in the face of unprecedented challenges, is testament to its spectacular resilience.”
The multi-platform series includes eight half-hour programs on BBC World News and eight in-depth articles on BBC Future. Each story brings audiences insights into what we’re eating, where it came from and how it was produced, visiting experts across the world.
In the first episode, James Wong examines how farmers are digging deeper to unlock the hidden potential of their land to mitigate and potentially even reverse climate change. He speaks to the farmers on the frontline, using innovative techniques that produce plentiful food with as little impact as possible.
James then takes viewers through the series and finally on the 8th and final episode, where he focuses on the last person in the food system, the consumer. And, as the journey into the future of food concludes, James finds out how new start-up, Wasteless, is helping supermarkets recapture the full value of perishable products and reduce food waste through AI-powered dynamic pricing.
Follow the Food will air at 0130 and 1530 GMT on Saturdays and 0930 and 2030 GMT on Sundays on BBC World News for eight weeks from 28th January 2021. Audiences can also visit bbc.com/followthefood for special features.