2020 was supposed to be our year…a year of new beginnings, the much-discussed "Vision 2020", flying cars, self-replicating robots, another iPhone and, of course, the new Black Widow movie. And while we did not get most of these things, almost no one could have imagined we would end up with the Toilet Paper Apocalypse, endless Twitter threads, or even a Pandemic.
Despite worldwide lockdowns, movie-like research speeds and top-notch hygiene practices, the COVID-19 pandemic still spreads around the globe like Genghis Khan in the 13th century. However, the Coronavirus did not just rob us of Friday night hangouts, and A summer of globe-trotting, but also our most precious resource, food, was not spared.
Food security is not a new thing. Since our days of congregating in caves, humanity has always worried about what to eat, how to cook what we eat, and how to store what we eat to have it for later. The pandemic brought to light inadequacies in our food industry, particularly faults in long-term storage, distribution, and transportation. And while this may have led to terrible wastages and caused food prices to shoot up in some parts of the world, I believe we could describe it as a necessary evil. Innovation and radical change have always come from times and periods of immense strife.
While we have generally figured out food processing in all forms, I believe we still have a long way to go in storage, particularly in disadvantaged regions, for long-term situations. And who better to be involved in this venture if not the very individuals whose very life is to food and feeding? Also, we must figure out more efficient transportation systems and networks for distributing foods, not just over long distances, but during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the Suez Canal dilemma.
If nothing else the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically highlighted the need for food security, at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels. This can only be achieved when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life!
Juliana Omolola Gold