Check out the Hacking The Food System series on Food+Tech Connect:
Ellen Gustafson on Hacking the Food System: Eat Your Veggies
The food system is inextricably interconnected. The same companies that we buy our typical American dinner food from are involved in production and marketing of foods all around the world. Using technology and hacking the hard data of the global food trade, production, and consumption is absolutely essential for us to be able to understand how our own eating habits ARE effecting the world around us. Externalties in the environment, consequences of consolidation, and the human cost of trade need to be assessed in deeper, more meaningful ways so that we can really be confident that our food choices are good for both our health and the world around us.
Nicola Twilley on Hacking the Food System: Crowdsourcing What & Where Angelenos Eat
It takes millions and millions of tons of food to feed a city. Somehow, enough milk and produce and soda makes its way to, say, Los Angeles; somehow it all gets distributed — frequently unevenly. But no one actually knows where all that food comes from, who’s buying it, and from where.But now, for Foodprint LA, the Foodprint Project has teamed up with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (convened by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with the goal of creating a sustainable and equitable regional food system for Los Angeles) and Kullect (a new, free app that makes it easy and fun to organize and participate in mobile data collections), to use technology to learn more about what food Angelenos are buying, and where.
Emilie Baltz on Hacking the Food System: Story Corps for Food
My hope is to slowly bring to light the personal and unique flavors of the American culture and, in doing so, not simply create a more authentic narrative of our food culture, but also create awareness of the unique flavors, habits and emotional connections within communities. It is, in a sense, a metaphorical meal, a “Story Corps for Food”, around which we can gather, exchange and listen to diverse points of view.
Stowe Boyd on Hacking the Food System: Social Food- Taking Food Back From Corporations
I believe that we will start to see a new factor: social food cooperatives. Social tools will lead to an alternative food system to the extent that people choose to spend more time involved in the production and distribution of food. This does not mean that everyone will become a full-time farmer, but average people will begin to dedicate more time to local food production and distribution than they have in the past 50 years. This could entail growing food in a greenhouse with five other families, working at a food coop, or keeping chickens on the roof of your New York City brownstone and trading eggs for produce with neighbors.
Anthony Nicalo: Eliminating Information Asymmetry
We live in a backward world. A world where it is strange to know where our food comes from. Foods that are grown and processed without adulteration have to prove it, while the use of chemicals and manipulation do not have to be disclosed. Information and technology on the other hand can contribute to a better food system by eliminating information asymmetry. It only takes a couple of times choosing something you know the provenance of to remind you that it is actually bizarre to NOT know the source of your food.
Michael LaValle: Buckle Your Seatbelts
Much like the Arab Spring spreading across the Middle East, a youth driven movement has emerged in the United States dedicated to bringing the consumption of food back into the home. These new change-makers are smart, moving fast and having a real impact. From web-focused solutions harnessing the power of digital information to rooftop gardens creating uber-local produce, an assault on the entrenched food status quo is gaining momentum.
Elizabeth McVay Greene: Farm Profitability & Affordability of Food
To make lasting change in the agriculture and food sector, we need to prioritize two things: farms’ profitability and the affordability of food for households. We need to shift the balance of the consumer dollar to the farmer – the participant in the food system that serves the most critical function, takes on the most risk, and makes the choices that have the largest influence on the environmental, nutritional, flavor, and quality profile of the food we eat. The best way to do that is to give farms a way to sell their harvest directly to individuals.
John Bailey: The “Interoperability” of Data Systems
his “interoperability” between data systems is the key to hacking the food system, since GS1 standard data formats are used between proprietary systems where agricultural products are marketed. This does not require adding a second barcode, like a QR code, to the product packaging.
John Reinhardt & Bob Wall: Going Viral [Graphic]
This year we witnessed first hand the power of open source tools to quickly spread the word about food system policy and planning. When Sedgwick, Maine passed the first food sovereignty ordinance, Grown in the City created a map so that others could track this trend and see the start of a growing movement. We were surprised at how quickly the story spread, revealing the power of online tools to share knowledge in ways that delight users and inspire others to take action. The “food” crowd is definitely ready for more interaction with the “tech” crowd in the years to come.
Jamie Leo & Destin Layne: Hack Your Diet
By cultivating local connections among consumers and producers of fresh, sustainable food, Eat Well Guide helps you hack your diet through access to healthy locally grown food. Together with the spirit of independent farmers, businesses and other socially responsible partner organizations, Eat Well Guide’s collaborative technology harnesses the power of the web to effect social, environmental and economic change, mapping the route to a more sustainable food system.
Karl & Cara Rosaen: Find Food & Feel Good
People are increasingly aware of the pitfalls of our current food system. The question is, how do we fix it? One of the most powerful things we can do is change the way we eat. Everyday, we are given the opportunity to change the food system by voting with our wallets and our forks.