Researcher testing corn plantings

In 2010, the Atkinson Center sponsored early groundwork for Food for 9 Billion, a monthly multimedia series American Public Media's Marketplace radio and PBS NewsHour television 

Food for 9 Billion Radio/TV Series

November 14, 2011

Researcher testing corn plantings

In 2010, the Atkinson Center sponsored early groundwork for Food for 9 Billion, a monthly multimedia series American Public Media's Marketplace radio and PBS NewsHour television.  All segments are available online and listed on the Center for Investigative Reporting’s site.

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Hunger Map of Africa

 Two interactive graphical features (based on data gathering supported by the Atkinson Center) are now available on the Food for 9 Billion website (hosted by Marketplace):

  • Worldwide Hunger Map: Explore various hunger-related attributes (Population Growth, Global Hunger Index, Food Consumption…) by country, across the world
  • Hunger Timeline: Discover milestones in the history of hunger, from the invention of agriculture (~10,000 BC) to the present

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Created by Jonathan Miller (Homelands Productions – http://homelands.org), Food for 9 Billion will explore the challenge of keeping everyone fed at a time of growing demand, changing diets, rising food and energy prices, shrinking land and water resources, and accelerating climate change. His team will travel the world looking at social, environmental, economic, political, and technical dimensions of humankind’s struggle to put food on the table.

The following is an excerpt from the Homelands Productions website:

Homelands Productions

“Food for 9 Billion” to Tackle Global Food Security

There’s no activity more fundamental to the human experience than putting food on the table. We’ve made impressive progress on that front in the last 50 years, but one in seven of us is still hungry. Every day, more than 24,000 people die from hunger and hunger-related illnesses—more than from malaria and AIDS combined. Millions of children suffer permanent mental and physical damage because of malnutrition and undernutrition. And although incomes are rising in much of the world, more than 1.3 billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day.

Looking forward, the math looks even grimmer. The world population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2045, is once again growing faster than agricultural production. Fresh water is disappearing in many food-producing areas. Climate change is already creating new and more serious problems with pests, diseases, droughts, and floods.

What has to happen for everyone to get the food they need? Can it be done fairly, and in ways that don’t destroy the natural systems on which life depends?

Those are the questions at the heart of Food for 9 Billion, a collaborative project of Homelands Productions and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Beginning in November 2011, radio features will air once a month on Marketplace, public radio’s daily show about business and economics. Television features will air on PBS NewsHour, public TV’s flagship news program. An interactive website will include a world food map and world food timeline, along with infographics and animations.

Major funding comes from the MacArthur Foundation, with additional support from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the National Science Foundation.