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Interview With A Scientist: #WorldPopulationDay

Feeding the World: Sustainable Food, Sustainable Planet

Charlie Hall, IFPCWith the world population expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, the race is on to secure our global food source while mitigating the impacts on the planet. More people necessitates more food. More food entails more agriculture. Fortunately, agricultural industries are striving to be solution providers as they work to address global warming, water conservation and biodiversity. 

Of all of the options for boosting food availability, tackling waste would be one of the most effective – National Geographic Magazine

Though the global food challenge is complex with implications for the earth and for each one of its billions of people, it is possible to be both food secure and environmentally responsible. Dairy, for example: How can the nutritious food group feed a growing population in ways that are sustainable for people and planet? One solution addresses the reclamation of dairy by-products and expired product. Instead of landfills, scientifically pinpointed ingredients can be safely returned to the food supply chain. These repurposed ingredients are meeting a variety of dietary needs without the need for additional land conversion for crops.

We asked food science and nutrition expert, Charlie Hall, how food manufacturers are reducing their environmental footprint and increasing efficiencies to feed a growing world. Hall is a Food Technologist at International Food Products Company (IFPC), a sister company to Green Field Solutions (GFS) within the family of International Companies.

How are the International family of companies working together to feed the world?

GFS and IFPC frequently brainstorm with each other on how to deliver the best ingredients and products. Each team has a different focus in terms of human and animal food manufacturing (aka feeding the world). When a scientist from one team needs to learn how a certain ingredient is used or made that the other team specializes in, we simply walk on over to them and start up a conversation. Having the accessibility to such a varied degree of scientists from different backgrounds sets us apart not only as the GFS team and IFPC team, but as the International Companies altogether.

How are we contributing to healthier diets?

The International Companies offers its customers (food manufacturers) an ingredient portfolio that includes vitamins, proteins, flours, sugars, sweeteners, oils and cocoas. Some are used to fortify food products to ensure a nutritious beverage or meal; others are used to improve the taste of healthy foods, making them more palatable to consumers. My main focus is developing flavored milks for our dairy customers, but I also work on eggnog, sweetener and miscellaneous product formulations.

How does the dairy industry sustainably feed people?

High in protein, calcium and vitamin D, many dairy foods provide a multitude of nutrients that maintain strong bone health and aid in muscle growth and repair. In terms of sustainability, we care deeply about providing quality, sustainable ingredients and products. Because the majority of our ingredients are dry blends, we are able to limit the costly expenses and environmental impacts of transporting liquid products over the road. We also help dairy companies avoid throwing away ingredients that are close to expiration with extensive testing to ensure each ingredient that is returned to the food supply chain is functional and safe.

Managing dairy by-products for a more sustainable food source

Green Field Solutions manages dairy by-products more sustainably, keeping them out of landfills, giving them higher purpose and putting them safely back into the food supply chain. Ultimately, we’re making better use of precious resources while creating value for our clients and helping them be more efficient and environmentally friendly. These case studies showcase how GFS is breaking the mold of upcycling food by-products to achieve value-creating, environmentally friendly breakthroughs.