Louise Fresco (2009) presented her views on the challenges related to food production that can jeopardise the development of human societies. The TED speaker made several important points associated with the production of food, farmers’ perspectives and concerns, and the role food (and bread, in particular) plays in people’s life. She emphasises that the integration of science into the process of food production can resolve the existing issues. These viewpoints are similar to the ones expressed by other researchers.
The central idea of the speech is the exclusive role and importance of bread in the history of humankind. Fresco (2009) stresses that bread is one of the most important foods that made people’s progress possible due to its high nutritional value. Galli et al. (2017) note that bread is the most important product for people and it has been valued for centuries. Fresco (2009) adds that food is one of the pivotal resources, and governments should make sure that this resource is not scarce.
Fresco (2009) repeatedly states that people often claim that old forms of farming should be revitalised. However, the speaker stresses that this is unrealistic and even harmful. She argues that old forms are associated with poverty, hard labour, and low productivity. Galli et al. (2017), however, note that some elements of old production patterns can be utilised. The researchers describe the project that involved the production and supply chain of bread confined to certain communities. Galli et al. (2017) express their firm belief in the benefits of such models. However, these strategies are unlikely to be beneficial for many territories with harsh environmental conditions.
Another important point the speaker puts to the fore is the role science plays in the production and delivery of products. Fresco (2009) tried to persuade the audience that scientific advances can help to increase productivity, reduce the negative impact on the environment, and make food production easier. Govindan (2018) also states that sustainable food production is the key to the survival of humankind and the reduction of their environmental footprint. Nevertheless, Fresco (2009) does not shed light on the major obstacles to the use of science and sustainable instruments. Govindan (2018), on the contrary, identifies these challenges that include economic, political, cultural, demographic, and technological. The sixth force affecting the use of the sustainable approach is the media. In her speech, Fresco (2009) mentions that some people and the media try to underestimate the relevance of bread.
On balance, it is necessary to note that Fresco (2009) manages to draw people’s attention to the problems linked to food production and the value of bread in people’s life. The speaker points out that science can help people to make food production more sustainable and more efficient. The speech has certain gaps and does not cover all meaningful aspects, but it is almost impossible to include everything within the limits of a TED talk. One of the major benefits of her speech is her call for action. The speaker does not simply provide some data but encourages the audience to act and make others address the problem as well.
Fresco, L 2009, We need to feed the whole world. Web.
Galli, F, Venturi, F, Bartolini, F, Gava, O, Zinnai, A, Chiara, S, Andrich, G & Brunori, G 2017, ‘Shaping food systems towards improved nutrition: a case study on Tuscan Bread Protected Designation of Origin’, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 533-552.
Govindan, K 2018, ‘Sustainable consumption and production in the food supply chain: a conceptual framework’, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 195, pp. 419-431.