Who is Howard Graham Buffett and Why Does he Care about Food Security?

If you had the resources to accomplish something great in the world, what would you do?

Legendary investor Warren Buffett posed this challenge to his son in 2006, when he announced he was leaving the bulk of his fortune to philanthropy. Howard G. Buffett set out to help the most vulnerable people on earth – nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security. And Howard has given himself a deadline: 40 years to put more than $3 billion to work on this challenge.

Each of us has about 40 chances to accomplish our goals in life. This is a lesson Howard learned through his passion for farming. All farmers can expect to have about 40 growing seasons, giving them just 40 chances to improve on every harvest. This applies to all of us, however, because we all have about 40 productive years to do the best job we can, whatever our passions or goals may be.

40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World is a new book that captures Howard’s journey. Beginning with his love for farming, we join him around the world as he seeks out new approaches to ease the suffering of so many. It is told in a unique format: 40 stories that will provide readers a compelling look at Howard’s lessons learned, ranging from his own backyard to some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth.

Who are the authors of this book?

Howard G. Buffett is the founder and President of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation which strengthens food security for vulnerable populations throughout the world. A farmer, businessman, politician, photographer, and philanthropist, Howard has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation and finding solutions to world hunger. He has traveled to over 120 countries documenting the challenges of preserving our biodiversity while providing adequate resources to meet the needs of a growing global population. Howard is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger, and serves on the corporate boards of Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola Company, and Lindsay Corporation. He operates a 1,500-acre family farm in central Illinois and oversees three foundation-operated research farms, including 1,400 acres in Arizona, 3,200 acres in Illinois, and 9,200 acres in South Africa.

Howard W. Buffett is the Executive Director of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. He previously served in the U.S. Department of Defense overseeing agriculture-based economic stabilization and redevelopment programs in Iraq and Afghanistan. For his work, he received the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award – the highest ranking civilian honor presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Prior to that, Howard was a Policy Advisor for the White House Domestic Policy Council, where he co-authored and directed the President’s cross-sector partnerships strategy. He earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MPA in Advanced Management and Finance from Columbia University. He is from Omaha, Nebraska, where he and his wife operate a 400 acre no-till farm.

What are the Principles of 40 Chances?

1.)   Roots: Dig in. Am I acting with purpose and urgency in my life?

2.)   Bravery: Grow tall. Am I taking smart risks?

3.)   Lessons: Don’t fear mistakes. Am I learning the right lessons from my mistakes?

4.)   Challenges: Be adaptable. Am I improving upon every chance I have?

5.)   Hope: Prepare for tomorrow. Am I making the most of my chances in life?

Planting the seeds for long lasting impact.

40 Chances Programs advocate for the best ideas that seed sustainable, transformational change in accomplishing global food security. These programs will empower our next generation of leaders to develop market-based solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges in the areas of poverty and hunger.

40 Chances Programs

1.)   For High School Students: High school students across the country can compete for awards based on solutions they design to combat local food insecurity.

2.)   For College Students: 40 Chances Program will focus on seeding innovative ideas and plans from college students across the country,

3.)   For Post Graduates: 40 Chances Program will focus on seeding innovative ideas from recent post graduates.

4.)   For Start-Ups: The program will focus on seeding innovative ideas from start-up nonprofit organizations.

Authors of the book

Authors of the book

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The Food Production Plan to End Hunger is Out of this World!

NASA is funding research into 3D printed food which would provide astronauts with meals during long space flights. The futuristic food printers would use cartridges of powder and oils which would have a shelf life of 30 years.

While the idea may seem like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, the process of printing food has already been proven possible. The brains behind the innovation, Anjan Contractor, previously printed chocolate in a bid to prove his concept.

Anjan Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer. Contractor and his company, will now use NASA’s $125,000 grant to attempt to…. PRINT AN EDIBLE PIZZA! The grant was applied for on March 28th, 2013. Reportedly, the pizza printer is still in the conceptual stage and will begin to be built in two weeks.

But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.

The printer will first print a layer of dough, which will be cooked while being printed. Tomato powder will then be mixed with water and oil to print a tomato sauce. The topping for the pizza will be a “protein layer” which could come from any source – animals, milk, or plants. The concept is to use basic “building blocks” of food in replaceable powder cartridges. Each block will be combined to create a range of foods which can be created by the printer. The cartridges will have a shelf life of 30 years – more than long enough to enable long-distance space travel.

Contractor and his team hope the 3D printer will be used not only by NASA, but also by regular Earthlings. His vision would mean the end of food waste, due to the powder’s long shelf life. There are some conveniences which would come along with the printer. For example, recipes could be traded with others through software. Each recipe would have a set of instructions which tells the printer which cartridge of powder to mix with which liquids, and at what rate and how it should be sprayed.

Another perk includes personalized nutrition. “If you’re male, female, someone is sick—they all have different dietary needs. If you can program your needs into a 3D printer, it can print exactly the nutrients that person requires,” Contractor said.

Many economists believe that current food systems can not supply 12 billion people with food security efficiently. This pizza printer is trying to change that number through this NASA grant.

The Audacious Plan to End Hunger

Pizza From a PrinterNASA__

NASA

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Food Stamp Challenges Incorporating Politicians and Celebrities

Newark, NJ mayor wants to highlight the challenges of living off government food aid

Morning talk show host Michael Strahan is adding some celebrity to Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s food stamp challenge.

Strahan, who hosts Live with Kelly and Michael, tweeted a picture on Wednesday of the first meal he ate living off the equivalent of what people receive in government assistance for food. Breakfast for the former New York Giants defensive end consisted of an omelet made with three eggs and black beans, with a side of mashed sweet potato.

Booker began his week-long SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) challenge Tuesday and is living off a budget of about $30 per week for groceries. That’s the same as what New Jersey residents receive if they qualify for the program. The Democrat says he’s trying to raise awareness about food security and what he calls the “inequities” of the American food system.

The most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data says New Jersey residents receive an average of $133.26 a month in what were commonly known as food stamps.

Booker, who is not the first politician to do a food stamp challenge, is using social media tools to share his experiences. In a video about his first day, the mayor holds his dinner (a bowl of salad) and talks about how he didn’t plan well and wasn’t near the food he purchased.

Booker’s decision to do the SNAP challenge is the result of a debate he had on Twitter about the role of government in supporting nutrition programs. His aim: raising awareness of food security and nutrition issues, especially in low-income urban areas, which are often “food deserts” or areas where there is low access to affordable nutritious food.

Spending for SNAP jumped to $71.8 billion in 2011, up from $30.4 billion in 2007 because more people became eligible for the program due to high unemployment and a weak US economy.

Data for the 2011 fiscal year show the program provided benefits to 44.7 million people in an average month, up from 25.8 million people in 2007. The federal government spent $75.7 billion for the program – $71.8 billion went to benefits and the rest covered administrative costs. Households received a monthly average of $284, and individuals received $134.

But now, Cory Booker is getting hungry.

True to form, Booker is tweeting about his experience and maintaining a blog as well!

After a few days of eating mostly vegetable-based foods, Booker is famished. “The constrained food options I have for this one short week highlight for me (with the hunger pains I felt today between small meals) what many hardworking families have to deal with week after week,” he wrote on his blog.

“Not being able to stop and drop a few dollars for a Venti coffee or Diet Mountain Dew is really raising my consciousness about the food choices I often take for granted,” Booker observed.

A lesson from Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge Diet thus far:

1. People who depend on food stamps don’t have it as easy as conservatives think
To hear hardline conservatives tell it, you’d think people accept food stamps to “‘take advantage’ and live high off the hog,” says Sasha Brown-Worsham at The Stir. Booker’s admirable decision to tighten his belt for a week will expose the lie in that kind of thinking by demonstrating that “living on a ‘food stamp budget’ is not exactly luxurious.” It’s only $28 a week! Critics “ought to open their heart a little and stop whining. In a country as rich as ours, NO ONE should be hungry.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/05/michael-strahan-food-stamps-cory-booker/1749269/

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2012/1204/Why-is-Newark-Mayor-Cory-Booker-living-on-food-stamps

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/cory-booker-food-stamp-challenge_n_2250692.html

http://theweek.com/article/index/237309/cory-bookers-food-stamp-challenge-3-lessons

A grocery receipt that the Newark Mayor posted recently

A grocery receipt that the Newark Mayor posted recently

A picture of what the mayor bought from his grocery store trip

A picture of what the mayor bought from his grocery store trip