Even President Joe Biden admits there’s a food crisis. It’s not coming. It’s here.
Bare shelves and the disappearance of baby formula from you grocery store prove it.
Experts first began predicting food shortages when science sounded the alarm on climate change. They again predicted food supply issues during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, and now with war in the Ukraine, food shortages are here. We live in an interconnected world, in which events anywhere can affect you no matter where you are.
David M. Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program — the United Nations agency that feeds 125 million people a day stated recently on CBS’s "Face The Nation," "It's going to cause problems all around the world. And for example, we've now got 45 million people in 38 countries that are knocking on famine's door. And you may see a general price increase of food, let's say 38 to 40%, but in some of the very tough places, it's going to be 100, 200%."
To meet the challenge, one company has figured out that one way to address food shortages is to simply help the food supply we already have available last longer on the shelves without adding dangerous chemicals or pesticides to the equation.
Their elegant solution is already saving farmers and grocers million of units of fruits and vegetables simply by increasing shelf life of their fresh produce.
Save Foods (NASDAQ: SVFD) (FSE:80W) has developed a product that fully or partially replaces pesticides with a new treatment combining food acids, which are considered safe by the FDA, and well-known oxidizers, to safely protect produce from postharvest disease pathogens, resulting in longer-lasting fruits and vegetables and it’s already saving money while also enhancing revenues for the food industry.
The post-harvest treatment marketplace has grown from about $1.5 billion in 2019 to more than $2.3 billion in 2022, and Save Foods’ solution is uniquely poised to take advantage of this growth because not only does their treatments increase the shelf life of food, but it also significantly reduces the use of pesticides.
About 25% of produce decay is due to plant pathogens, such as mold and fungi, which costs the industry around $540 billion a year.
Human disease-causing pathogens on produce, such as E. coli and salmonella, cause 48 million people to get sick every year, costing the industry an additional $90 billion a year.
To protect produce from decay and to extend shelf-life, growers and packers use chemical pesticides.
But these are not good for our health or the environment, and regulations are tightening to reduce their use. The EU Commission’s Field to Fork initiative was established to drive down chemical pesticide use and aims to shift farming to 25% organic by 2030.
The challenge for growers is how to retain freshness, prolong shelf life and improve food safety while reducing harmful chemicals.
A case in point: keep fresh fruit fresh long enough to get to consumers.
Save Foods completed a study in March that demonstrated a dramatic extension of the shelf life for strawberries.
Fresh strawberries have one of the highest levels of waste of all fresh produce, with an estimated 64% of strawberries lost before they are ever eaten in the U.S. This waste occurs at all stages of the supply chain and is valued at approximately $1.4 billion dollars in the US alone.
Strawberries are highly perishable, presenting several challenges for this market.
They are relatively delicate when handled, subject to fruit rot, and don't last very long on the shelf. Shelf life is usually up to two weeks after picking, with the rate dropping exponentially every hour they are kept at room temperature.
Currently, packers rely on refrigeration and packaging to keep strawberries fresh for up to two weeks.
However, in Save Foods' recent trial, researchers were able to keep five times as many strawberries fresh, compared to the industry standard, by applying Save Foods’ treatments, which translates into 85%less waste.
These kinds of solutions may be just the medicine the food crisis needs, as experts agree that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Dan Perkins is a published author of 4 novels on nuclear and biological terrorism against the United States and is a current events commentator for over 35-plus news blogs. He appears on radio and TV many times a month. Dan’s newest show is "Black and White" which can be heard on the Blacks and Whites Network at blacksandwhites.us. More information on Perkins can be found on his web site: danperkins.guru.
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