from the editor
Photo by Jaci Goodman
When it comes to the future of food, the facts are daunting and depressing. To feed the projected 9.8 billion people in the world in 2050, food production must increase by more than 70 percent. As writer Barbara Twitchell reports in our cover story, “crop demand for human and animal food will more than double. At the same time, fertile land is being depleted, water supplies are diminishing, and climate changes affecting temperature and precipitation patterns continue to negatively impact many prime growing areas.” We need to produce more food, more sustainably, in a short time. It’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed by this news.
Luckily, creative minds throughout the globe (and locally) are working on solutions. For one, I have high hopes for the integration of more greenhouses and high-tech applications to grow food intensively. The 6,500-acre Bently Ranch in Minden is a great local example of high-tech farming that also happens to be eco-conscious. Dayton Valley Aquaponics in Dayton is another leader in our local food system.
I never thought I would see the day that meat was grown in a lab or a veggie burger could be made to look as if it’s bleeding like a beef patty. With the huge footprint that global meat production has on our environment, producing meat substitutes is crucial. You can find some of these clever ideas in the local natural food grocery aisle, such as Beyond Burger at Great Basin Community Food Co-op in Reno, and on local restaurant menus, such as Impossible Burger at Old Granite Street Eatery in Reno.
In terms of how we eat, convenience will increasingly become more important. Did you know customized meal plans are produced locally? Reno’s Roundabout Catering has two different types of healthy, ready-made-meal programs that can be picked up or delivered. And Our Local Basket in Washoe City provides a weekly delivery of farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
While we have a huge mountain to climb to feed the world in a responsible manner, I’m encouraged by the brilliant minds working on solutions. Innovators will save our food system. We have to support their efforts. So grab a sustainably, locally produced meal and enjoy summer!
About the Cover Kate O’Hara is an illustrator living in Reno. She creates nature-inspired illustrations full of nostalgic moods and intricate details by combining pencil drawings with digital coloring. You can find more of her work in our cover story.