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Daily Archives: July 10, 2018

Viewpoint: With yield boost over organics of 33 percent, genetic engineering offers developing world chance at food security

Viewpoint: With yield boost over organics of 33 percent, genetic engineering offers developing world chance at food security

Hunger and population outgrowing food supply have been an age-long issue. The English scholar and cleric, Thomas Malthus raised the issue in 1798 in his now famous Malthusian Theory of Population.

Malthus argued that because there will be higher population than the availability of food, many people will die from the shortage of food. He theorised that this correction will take place in the form of Positive Checks (or Natural Checks) and Preventative Checks. These checks would lead to the Malthusian catastrophe, which would bring the population level back to a ‘sustainable level’. Mankind has not allowed the Malthusian catastrophe to occur, but has continued to strive to apply scientific methods to boost agricultural production.

In spite of advances in the sciences; food insecurity remains a global problem.

However, experts say that if mankind embraces biotechnology, hunger would be conquered and there would be no fear of the Malthusian catastrophe as agriculture based on biotechnology is sustainable.

The productivity in genetically modified crops is estimated at between 7 per cent and 20 per cent higher than in traditional agriculture, and 33 per cent higher than organic crops. …

“What we are having is ignorance; that’s where education comes in,” [said Prof. Akinola] Hassan, a professor of genetics at Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto, who described the campaign against genetically modified organisms (foods) as mere propaganda.

“GMOs don’t kill, they are not dangerous to health; the Federal Government is talking about green alternatives. They are saying that they want foods to be produced in safe manner; and that can be achieved through the use of GMO.”

Read full, original article: Boosting Food Security Via Biotechnology


‘Lots of people need to eat’: New food security program turns food waste into meals at All Nations Hope

‘Lots of people need to eat’: New food security program turns food waste into meals at All Nations Hope

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Paige Klarer drives around and picks up day-old food from café​s in Regina. The bags full of scones, bread, buns, cinnamon buns and muffins are packed into green containers before she takes them to All Nations Hope on Fifth Avenue. 

When she walks in with the food buckets, she’s greeted with many smiles. In the kitchen upstairs she unpacks the treats while bannock fries on the stove beside her.

Klarer runs All Nations Hope’s new food security program. A volunteer summer student from the University of Regina, she had the idea to take food waste and turn it into meals — and now she’s putting the idea into action.

“I’ve worked in the coffee house industry since I was a kid. I’ve always saw we were throwing so much food in the garbage and I always thought there had to be something that we can do,” Klarer said.

“I started here [at All Nations Hope] and I saw so many people we couldn’t feed because we didn’t have enough food, and I put two and two together.”

Paige Klarer, left, with Good Earth Café​ owner Allison Horton. The food Klarer picks up from café​s is usually a few bags of muffins, scones, cinnamon buns and other pastries. A local grocery store normally gives dairy products they then use for breakfasts. Any extras are handed out to people coming into All Nations Hope so none of the donated food goes in the garbage. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Klarer said the non-profit — which focuses on the physical, spiritual and social needs of Indigenous people living with and affected by HIV and hepatitis C — was excited about her idea, as it has a small budget to work with and a lot of people coming in. North Central Regina, where All Nations Hope is based, has a high rate of poverty.

“A lot of people don’t have their own transportation so getting to a grocery store, even the food bank is not attainable,” Klarer said. “They can walk here usually.”

She said people have told her they’re happy to have food options.

“I even had a gentleman make me some earrings as a thank you for providing the food,” she said.

“It’s been really helpful getting people into our programming at All Nations Hope because if you have food it’s an incentive to come see what it’s all about.”

Klarer places the food from the café​ onto a tray to put out on the main floor of All Nations Hope. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

All Nations Hope offers programs like women’s and men’s groups, Cree language classes and beading classes.

Klarer said the number of people coming in for food varies, with an average of 25 a day, but “it depends when cheques go out.”

“It can be upwards of, like, 50 some days,” she said. “It gets pretty crowded. Lots of people need to eat.”

Good Earth Café​ on South Albert is one of the café​s donating its day-old baking.

“I was looking for a way to give back to the community,” said Good Earth owner Allison Horton. “It was a perfect fit.”

Currently, the All Nations Hope food security program has donations from two café​s, one large grocer and occasionally a fast-food restaurant, but Klarer hopes to have more in the future.

Audrey Eyahpaise, right, said more people like Paige Klarer are needed. ‘There’s only one person out of a million and that’s her. She’s our angel,’ Eyahpaise said. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Audrey Eyahpaise is a cultural provider at All Nations Hope. She said it was amazing to know how many people Klarer was able to feed with her program.

“Sometimes we run out of food,” Eyahpaise said. “It’s heartbreaking turning people away.”

“These people are from the streets.… They’re poor, they’re in pain, they’re in predicaments, you know?” she said.

“We never had that here before — we never had that kind of an opportunity to give them whatever.”

Klarer is optimistic the program will continue.

“I’m trying to make this sustainable,” Klarer said. “I know the staff here will take care of it when I’m gone.”

But she said there are more organizations in Regina that need food donations.

“If there’s any businesses out there that are finding themselves throwing our extra food, they should absolutely reach out to All Nations Hope or any other organization they want to support.”