The brand-new Food Tank is not an irritating aquarium-themed seafood restaurant concept or a shoot-em-up flick set in a cafeteria. It's a think tank about food, though the matters the organization hopes to tackle won't be so mundane as the search for palatable application for the world's glut of truffle oil.
Founders Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson, a sustainable agriculture expert and "social entrepreneur"/food systems activist respectively, envision that Food Tank will combat the world hunger, poverty, and obesity epidemics by publishing newsletters, launching investigative reports, working with policy makers, journalists, farmers, scientists and other key players, and organizing tours in Latin America, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as well as in North America. Naturally, they are looking for donors.
Cynics might jump to conclusions. You know, a couple of do-gooders with time on their hands bop around India and come home to save the world, whenever they're not buying $13 gallons of organic goat kefir and tooling around town in a souped-up Prius.
But over the past three years, Nierenberg has visited more than 35 countries in Latin America, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, trying to gather solutions to the monumental challenges Food Tank wants to overcome.
In Tanzania, Nierenberg met with researchers from The World Vegetable Center, which attempts to raise production and consumption of vegetables while simultaneously bettering farmers' incomes. In Uganda, she worked with Developing Innovations in School Cultivation, a school garden-and-sustainability project.
In addition to highlighting positive initiatives around the globe and lobbying for policy change here at home, Food Tank has plans to unveil, in 2013, a "Change the Food System" summit. Stay tuned to the website for future news.