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Food systems

Food for thought: Sprint students reflect on complex problems in the food industry

As part of the Sprint, we asked students to tell us about a real-world problem they care about. We were inspired by the range and depth of issues Sprinters shared with us.  

Four Sprinters who are passionate about fixing the food industry shared their perspectives, each highlighting a different challenge within the food industry, how to tackle it, and ways to learn more. 

Meet the students below and click through to read their articles in full on the ID learning Hub.  

Harry was brought up on a family farm in rural Herefordshire and has always wanted to be a farmerHe’s a big fan of all things cricket and rugby. 

One of the problems that has captured my interest in the last year is ‘How Should We Feed Ourselves’ not only nationally but also as a planetWith the wonders of industrial farming providing food for millions that would have gone hungry without it, but at near-incalculable ecological and human cost.  

My interests are not in only how the calories are produced but also how they are distributed, with the global food system providing more than 2,700 Kcal per person per day, and yet 690 million people still go to bed on an empty stomach with this expected to rise to 840 million by as soon as 2030.  Closer to home the problem seems to be the reverse, with 28% of England’s population being classified as obese along with 20% of year 6 children, despite there still being thousands going hungry each day.” 

Read about Harry’s vision for a future where food education becomes an essential part of the school curriculum. Find out more>>> 

After growing up in California and New York, Jet decided to move to England to earn his IB diploma. After a gap-year in Norway, he’s recently moved back to the UK. Jet’s biggest passion areas are natural science, linguistics, and economics. 

There’s certainly no shortage of problems in our world to choose from, but perhaps closest to my heart is the issue of widespread malnutrition that plagues both developed and underdeveloped countries. The lack of access to and education about proper nutrition, particularly in the US’s low-income ‘food deserts’, is not only heart-wrenching for these less-fortunate individuals, but also imposes considerable economic burden on governments. This further contributes to the inescapable cycle of poor health, and even in today’s pandemic, we are realizing that these issues can have unforeseen, grave repercussions for individuals and governments alike. I hope to guide my career in a direction that allows me to address these pervasive issues both at home in the US and internationally. 

Read about Jet’s analysis of the interconnectedness of the food industry, and how he thinks we can all play a part in creating change.
Find out more>>> 

Davina & Camila
Davina is an enthusiastic problem-solver participating in Sprint #2. At sixth form she studied maths and the sciences, but her interests extend across many other fields such as language, psychology, art and design. Davina thinks food waste and other problems in the food industry have a huge impact on a wide variety of areas of modern life, and consequently there is a lot to learn. 

Camila is a 21-year-old university student from Spain who participated in Sprint #1. A self-described “third-culture kid”, she’s interested in biomed engineering, creative arts, and product design, though she is passionate about many things and above all else, loves learning. She cares deeply about food wastage, especially the avoidable imbalance in surplus and shortage. 

Read about Davina and Camila’s experience with food waste and find out ways you can have an impact. Find out more>>> 

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