In recent years I’ve read a lot about — and written a little about — urban farming but hadn’t put my boots on the ground at one until recently when I joined MSU faculty members and grad students on a tour of the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in Detroit’s North End.
Every month millions of people below the poverty line in India make their way to fair price shops. There they can buy a ration of wheat, rice, sugar or oil at a reduced price.
A network of over 400,000 fair price shops have provided governmentally subsidized food to more than 600 million citizens.
It is the largest distribution network in the world, yet there are concerns about its efficiency.
Prashant Rajan, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, studies the effectiveness of fair price shops in the Chhattisgarh province of India. He is studying how salespeople feel about the use of debit card-like smartcards to keep track of fair price purchases. His research could help fair price shops serve people higher quality food at a lower cost.
Typically, air conditioners are not seen as a way to keep food cold enough to safely eat. But a new technology lets air conditioners provide safe and inexpensive cold food storage.
Ron Khosla, a small farmer in upstate New York, created a technology called CoolBot that turns almost any window air conditioner into a food storage machine for about an eighth of the cost of a walk-in refrigeration unit.
The device can make the air conditioners reach the freezing point of water, and maintain these temperatures through multiple sensors.
His innovation could help reduce food waste and post harvest losses.