A crash course in changing the world.
Food security is not a high-priority problem in Germany. When it comes to food, the German problem (which is the same for pretty much all European countries as well as North-America) is wasting food. According to the FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FAO) "The per capita food loss in Europe and North-America is 280-300 kg/year" (http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf).
It is a waste of resources which has various reasons. EU subsidized food production that is thrown in the sea because it is way too much is probably the biggest insanity which needs a political top-down solution. In their report the FAO also presents one reason for food waste that can be solved fairly easy:
"Large quantities on display and a wide range of products/ brands in supply lead to food waste in industrialized countries."
You find the most impressive example for this in bakeries. As customers expect to have a great variety of products even one minute before the bakery closes (and surprisingly everyday no customer is last-minute shopping everything thats left) loads of breads and sweets are thrown away at the end of the day. Approximately 20% of every day's bread-production is thrown away in German bakeries. This is first of all a waste of resources. But as also the bakeries themself suffer from this insanity they have a strong incentive to reduce these losses. The amount is so huge that giving it away to the poor is not enough to "get rid" of the "bad" (because one day old) stuff.
One company that tries to solve this problem is meteolytix (http://www.meteolytix.de/start/start.php). They use statistical methods to estimate the amount of products needed every day depending on a variety of factors such as day / month / weather. With their help bakeries can reduce their spare production and hence reduce the amount of resources that is wasted.
It is just a tiny little solution but I was fascinated by this easy way to reduce the waste of food. It also makes economic sense for the bakeries to use the system because they can save money (and so have a motivation to act in a sustainable way).
The method might well work in other fields of easily perishable products. And in the long run such methods hopefully help to solve the bigger (worldwide) food security issues.