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World Food Day: Challenge accepted

Elise Brockett, student assistant, plants African vegetable seedlings at the Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center at UC Davis.

Credit: UC Davis

Elise Brockett, student assistant, plants African vegetable seedlings at the Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center at UC Davis.

World Food Day presents a challenge that UC Davis gladly accepts: To put science to work to improve and increase the global food supply.

Next week, you can see the winning videos and hear from a World Food Prize laureate in one of many World Food Day programs to be held on campus. Two events are being held off campus, sponsored by the UC Davis World Food Center, but you can still “attend” — via live streams (from the World Bank and the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium).

Campus programs include a talk by the director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s nutrition team, and three presentations revolving around UC Davis’ Feed the Future Innovation Labs.

Programs are scheduled before and after the actual World Food Day, Oct. 16, described as “a day of action against hunger,” held annually on the anniversary of the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO. 

World Food Day 2016 @ UC Davis

Douglas Cook, right, and Syed Gul Abbas Shah Sani, a Ph.D. scholar in Cook’s lab, are pictured at the Armstrong Field Station on the Davis campus, collect tissue for DNA extraction and genotyping of segregating populations of chickpea.
Credit: UC Davis

• “Pulses: The Heroes of Nutrition and Agricultural Sustainability” — UC Davis plant pathology professor Douglas Cook, director of the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Chickpea, gives this lecture in celebration of the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses (pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, including chickpeas, dry beans, dry peas and lentils). The lecture will be delivered at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. 9-10:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday, Oct. 5. Register here for the live stream.

• “Harnessing Agriculture for Improved Nutrition in Africa” — Shawn Baker, director of the nutrition team, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the foundation’s efforts to ensure that women and children receive the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development. Sponsored by the International Programs Office and the Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and the World Food Center. 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, Meeting Room D, Student Community Center. Free.

• UC Davis Dining Services Fall 2016 Farm to Fork Dinner — The menu will feature local foods, including produce from the Student Farm. Open to the public. For students with dining plans, the cost is one swipe of a meal card. Others: staff with ID, $11.80; staff with Aggie Cash, $10.62; children under 8, $7.38; and general $14.75 (prices include tax). 4:45-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, Segundo, Tercero and Cuarto dining commons.

World Food Day Scholarly Lecture and Video Challenge — The World Food Center hosts Catherine Bertini, a World Food Prize laureate, to speak on her 10-plus years as head of the UN’s World Food Programme, and about the need to ensure the world’s neediest people receive not just enough food, but the right food. The program will open with the announcement of the winners of the World Food Day Video Challenge — and the screening of those videos. 4-5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, multipurpose room, Student Community Center, UC Davis. Lecture will be live-streamed. Free. Registration to attend in person or to watch the live stream.

Visitors to the Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center hear from Jim Thompson, UC Cooperative Extension emeritus specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, about the UC Davis-designed chimney solar dryer.
Credit: UC Davis

Explore Horticulture Innovations — Presented by the Horticulture Innovation Lab (Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture) at UC Davis. Tour the low-cost, agricultural technologies that UC Davis researchers are using around the world. Edible plant giveaway to first 20 visitors. Guides from the Horticulture Innovation Lab will be available to discuss solar dryers, cool storage, postharvest handling, and vegetable plants from Africa and Asia. Noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center, Solano Field. Free.

Student Farm Tour and Harvest — Presented by the Student Farm and the 2016-17 Campus Community Book Project, featuring Raj Patel’s "Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System." Campus and community members are all welcome to attend; maximum 25 people (register here). 9-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1050 Extension Center Drive. Free. Directions to the Student Farm.

Bees and Climate Change — The 2016-17 UC Davis Campus Community Book Project, featuring Raj Patel’s "Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System," invites you to tour the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven and learn more about “Bees and Climate Change” in celebration of World Food Day. Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. Free. Honey Bee Haven map link.

• “Availability of a Healthy Global Diet” — The World Food Center hosts this panel discussion on nutrition, and progress on food and nutrition security, during the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium (World Food Prize International Symposium), Des Moines, Iowa. Elizabeth Mitcham, postharvest biologist who is the director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, will be among the panelists, and Josette Lewis, associate director, UC Davis World Food Center, will be the moderator. Other panelists: Pietro Gennari, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization; Lawrence Haddad, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Food Policy Research Institute; Emily Hogue, U.S. Agency for International Development; and Marie Chantal Messier, Nestle. Panel will be live-streamed, 2:20-3:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Edible Campus Project and World Food Day Information Session — Tour the Salad Bowl Garden and learn more about the Edible Campus project in celebration of World Food Day. Noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in front of the Plant and Environmental Sciences building. Free.

• “Engaging Universities to End Global Poverty and Hunger” — With five Feed the Future Innovation Labs, more than any other university, UC Davis is tackling issues ranging from chickpea and millet productivity to poultry, horticulture and asset management by small farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This seminar will feature the chief scientist for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security and a panel discussion with the UC Davis program directors, along with a presentation on two of the innovation labs. Presented by the International Programs Office, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and sponsored by the World Food Center, Horticulture Innovation Lab, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access (also known as BASIS). 10:30 a.m.-noon Monday, Oct. 17, 2207 Conference Center. Free.