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Feeding the 7 billion

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Public event
13 November 2012, 6pm
at Chamber East, Panmure Street, Dundee DD1 1ED
for the general public
Feeding the 7 billion logo

Before our Feeding the 7 billion event we asked people on the streets of Dundee for their thoughts on food security.

See what they had to say in our film here.

There is also a transcript of the video.

The Feeding the 7 billion event heard that worldwide demand for food is expected to increase by 40% by 2030 and by 70% by 2050 to meet the anticipated global population growth, whilst the amount of land suitable for food production is likely to decrease.

Journalist and broadcaster Mark Stephen led an expert panel in an accessible and interactive exploration of the main issues around food security and how science might help secure the future of our food as part of Dundee Science Festival.

The panel consisted of Dr Nicola Holden of the James Hutton Institute, Professor Lee Innes of Moredun Research Institute and Professor David Hopkins, Head of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University who enjoyed a lively question and answer session with the audience.

Transcript of the Feeding the 7 billion video

Do you understand what the term food security means?

  • Respondent 1 – No I don’t, sorry.
  • Respondent 2 – Not exactly, no.
  • Respondents 3 to 6 – No, never heard of it before.
  • Respondent 7 – Not really, no.
  • Respondent 8 – I think it will be to keep food safe, maybe depending where the food is coming from precisely into the country.
  • Respondents 9 & 10 – I think it’s how many food there is for all people in the world or only in one country, also that it’s got quality, the quality is much important.
  • Respondents 11 & 12 – It’s where your food comes from, how safe it is like your Fairtrade.
  • Respondent 13 – Well, I understand by the food, because with the drought for example, and climate change basically then the food resources are not secure any more then you have to farm in a way that would allow you to secure that food in drought for example.

Are you concerned about where your food comes from?

  • Respondent s 1 to 4 – No, not really, no, happy.
  • Respondent 5 – Yeah, I suppose you do think where the meat comes from if you are having a burger or something or a pie, you wonder where the meat comes from.
  • Respondents 6 & 7 – Yeah, it would be important to know but I myself do not know.
  • Respondent 8 – Em, yeah, I would say I’m concerned because the safety of the food coming into the country, when it gets to the end users, people the consumers like me, yes, I think I’m concerned.
  • Respondent 9 – Yes, I’m interested in food production, I’m vegetarian so I don’t eat any meat because of the food production, I’m not against the morals of eating meat or where that comes from but the way its produced I think is pretty horrible so I don’t.
  • Respondents 10 & 11 – In the modern age, not really, I would be more concerned in the older days but not now.
  • Respondent 12 – Yeah, sometimes – I actually grow a lot of my own vegetables and fruit.
  • Respondent 13 – There are places where you could farm food in a polluted area for example with heavy metals and I wouldn’t like to eat that and also how food is harvested and grown basically for the growers – are they doing it in a fair way for the workers or animals and so on. So it’s important, yes.

With the increase in world population do you worry about food shortages or running out of food?

  • Respondent 1 – No, I think about myself, to be quite honest with you, and my daughter and that’s why I’ve got an allotment up the Law Hill and I grow my own fruit and veg and it keeps us happy but really I think it’s down to governments and that to promote. We’ve got 70% of barren land in Scotland that nobody uses and how no start producing a bit more for our people and bring the price down.
  • Respondents 2 & 3 – Well, there’s a lot of unoccupied land so I would say there’s a fair chance we can harvest there and move about.
  • Respondent 4 – I think the government always have a way out, to sort that out, the population will always grow at some point and reduce at some point but still I think India political, how would I say, the budgets, they will have that covered.
  • Respondent 5 – Of course we would have to address that I think because the surface of the farms that we can grow food in is quite limited and we will have to manage that to increase the yield while taking care of the environment not to harm it.
  • Respondents 6 to 9 – Possibly because of the issues with the farming and things. Especially in Scotland. All of the farming crops have been ruined this year because there’s been so much rain. I grew up on a farm so I don’t really worry about it because I know that there is food there, it’s just whether the people choose to eat it.
  • Respondent 10 – It doesn’t really come into my mind too much to be honest. You just have to eat to survive yourself don’t you, you just have to have your three meals a day.
  • Respondents 11 & 12 – there are right now, there are food shortages in Africa or South America but for now, Europe directly, I don’t see the problem coming but of course it will. There are food shortages, the number will increase as the population further grows.
  • Respondent 13 – Yeah I think population is getting kind of out of hand; I think it’s something people don’t really talk about but it’s going to become a problem in the future and you will see that happening.

PDF file: Transcript of the Feeding the 7 billion video (203 KB)

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Printed from /events/feeding-7-billion on 09/08/20 11:50:35 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.