Six Questions with Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Six Questions with Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Staff Writer
From, by Roger Thurow

Food Tank, in partnership with American University, is hosting the 2nd Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 20–21, 2016. 

This two-day event will feature more than 75 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policymakers, government officials, and students will come together for panels on topics including food waste, urban agriculture, family farmers, farm workers, and more. 

Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with Roger Thurow, a Senior Fellow on Global Agricultural Development at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Roger Thurow will be speaking at the summit.

Food Tank (FT): What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?

Roger Thurow (RT): Covering the Ethiopian famine of 2003 as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. It was the first famine of the 21st century. What I saw there was that nobody should have to die of hunger, especially at the dawn of the new millennium. I was compelled to keep coming back to this story: hunger in the 21st century. It has been the center and passion of my journalism ever since.

FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?

RT: A growing outrage that we shouldn’t put up with hunger and malnutrition—such medieval suffering!—in the 21st century. As the outrage grows, so will the pressure for action. We need to spread the moral outrage, but also the knowledge of the economic and social costs of hunger and malnutrition.

FT: What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?

RT: Improving the nutritional quality of food and making those vital nutrients accessible and affordable to everyone. Our challenge is not only to feed the world but to nourish the world. One in four children under five years of age in the world today is stunted (physically, cognitively, or both) because of poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. The economic and social costs of a stunted child ripple around the world.

FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

RT: Get informed, be aware, and raise the clamor.

FT: What’s one issue within the food system you’d like to see completely solved for the next generation?

RT: End childhood stunting.

FT: What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?

RT: Make a commitment to continue U.S. leadership in ending hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development.

To find out more about the event, see the full list of speakers, and purchase tickets, please click HERE. Interested participants who cannot join can also sign up for the livestream HERE.

To join us at Food Tank's São Paulo, Brazil Summit in September 2016, please click HERE. To join us at Food Tank's Sacramento, CA Summit on September 22–23, 2016, please click HERE. To join us at Food Tank's Chicago, IL Summit on November 16–17, 2016, please click HERE

Want to become a sponsor of the Food Tank Summit? Please click HERE

Want to suggest a speaker for one of the Summits? Please click HERE

Want to watch videos from last year's Food Tank Summit? Please click HERE

Sponsors for this year's Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. include: Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Chaia DC, Chipotle, Clif Bar, D.C. Government, Driscoll's, Edible DC, Elevation Burger, Fair Trade USA, Food and Environment Reporting Network, Global Environmental Politics Program of the School of International Service, Greener Media, Inter Press Service, Leafware, Niman Ranch, Organic Valley, Panera Bread, and VegFund. 

Join the discussion using #FoodTank across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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