Fighting Back Against Hunger and Improving Food Access

“The world is at a critical juncture.”

That’s the headline of an article about the state of food security and nutrition in the world. In painstaking detail, the Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations uses the article to describe how the number of people affected by hunger globally increased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It estimates that between 720 million and 811 million people faced hunger. If you go with the middle of the projected range — around 768 million — 118 million more people faced hunger in 2020 than in 2019. How does this happen and what’s being done about it?

The Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations says that unless bold actions are taken to accelerate progress, especially actions to address major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and inequalities affecting access to food, hunger will not be eradicated by 2030, as the U.N. had hoped.

After remaining virtually unchanged from 2014 to 2019, the prevalence of undernourishment climbed to around 9.9 percent in 2020, from 8.4 percent a year earlier, the article says.

According to FoodBankNews.org, all of this activity is happening against a backdrop of heightened emphasis on nutrition from the USDA, which in mid-March released a report outlining its commitment to nutrition security (in addition to food security). The USDA noted the importance of nutrition in fighting diet-related disease, which is a leading cause of illness in the U.S., accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year, or more than 40,000 each month.

Sadly, the pandemic continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems, especially when it comes to access. New farming practices, including controlled-environment agriculture, are increasingly being recognized as a potential solution to fill the gaps and avoid supply chain delays entirely. 

Strategically placing container farms in and around population centers could have a dramatic effect on providing a sustainable and secure source of nutrient-rich food. These farms can produce 200-300 pounds of fresh food weekly and help feed people in marginalized communities. They can also be used to help train the next generation of urban farmers and create jobs, providing ancillary benefits that can reverberate for years to come.

FarmBox Foods Unveils Plans for Hydroponic Fodder Farm

FarmBox Foods is developing a hydroponic fodder farm that will be sold beginning this year. It will produce roughly 1,000 pounds of fodder per day.

FarmBox Foods Unveils Plans for Hydroponic Fodder Farm

hydroponic fodder farm
Fodder is used as a dietary supplement for livestock, including beef cattle and dairy cows. Just look how much that cow on the left is enjoying it!

With its appearance at the 2022 National Western Stock Show, FarmBox Foods announced the development of a hydroponic system that enables ranchers to grow nutrient-rich feed onsite year-round.

The shipping container-based fodder farm will be sold beginning in mid-2022.

Fodder is nutrient-rich feed for horses, cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock. The dietary supplement increases the weight of livestock, promotes the production of better-quality milk, and decreases methane output. It also reduces feed costs, hydrates livestock, and eliminates the need to transport feed over long distances.

The upcycled, insulated shipping containers that house these systems can be placed virtually anywhere in the world and produce large quantities of fodder without using pesticides. The controlled-climate fodder farm is protected from drought, freezes, heat waves, hail and pests, and needs only about 60 gallons of water per day. It grows approximately 1,080 pounds of fodder a day and requires about 28 hours of labor per week (including weekends).

FarmBox Foods hired an expert in hydroponic fodder system development, and is already taking pre-orders. Go to www.FarmBoxFoods.com/fodder-farm/ to learn more and get on the list.

FarmBox Foods, based in Sedalia, Colo., has spent the last four years developing automated farms in shipping containers to grow gourmet mushrooms, leafy greens, culinary herbs, peppers, small tomatoes and trees. The mission-driven company is focused on helping feed those living in food deserts while empowering local communities and providing jobs and educational opportunities. The company’s latest offering helps promote food security for animals, especially in the wake of storms or when the supply chain breaks down.