On the job for food security

Front row, left to right: Breanne Brammer, Lebo Moore. Back row, left to right: Anna Maikova, Jessica Vaughn, Nina Fursteneau, Ann Millington, Bill Allen.

DES MOINES, Iowa — This week the city is the site of a summit on food security, and many global leaders on this issue are at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Hotel, in the sessions scheduled throughout the week, at podiums and on panels. Five journalism students from the University of Missouri, accompanied by their instructors, are here as well. The team arrived Monday, Oct. 14, to cover this conference, the 2014 World Food Prize, the Borlaug Symposium and related events.

The MU journalists are here to get to the heart of what is called the greatest challenge of our time: how to feed the world’s growing population, one that by many estimates will top 9.5 billion by 2050. Many at the conference point to issues of yield and production, and many also highlight food waste, access to food and infrastructure as devastating to the common goal of food and nutrition security.

As the journalism team learns the facts — that issues of food insecurity, rampant in the poorest regions of the world, reach even countries as wealthy as the United States, that most food insecure people are children, that the contrasting and sad fact is food waste fills 90 percent of U.S. landfills — their reporting becomes more and more honed.

Why be a journalist? A conference such as this could answer that for some — especially for those interested in moving the world toward a food secure future.

-Instructors Nina Furstenau and Bill Allen

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