The only other World Food Prize symposium I have attended was in 2008 and I was very impressed this year with how much the event has grown in just four years.
Ambassador Ken Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, was thrilled with the program and attendance this year. “We’re again at about 1400-1500 people, and that doesn’t count the 600 who came for our hunger summit, so all week we’ve got well over 2000 people,” he said. Those attendees came from at least 70 countries around the world. They also had about 300 high school students and teachers attend.
Security was very tight at this year’s event, and not just because the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Princess of Dubai were present. It was because of some wackos who decided to “Occupy the World Food Prize” to protest “corporate exploitation of our food systems.” Quinn says they stepped up security to ensure safety for all. “It’s right that people can protest and tell their view, that’s what our country is all about,” said Quinn. “But not to the extent that people are disrupting and perhaps making it feel unsafe for our visitors.” Fortunately, the protestors were very small in numbers, but sadly, they did generate a lot of publicity.
The last day of the symposium had a focus on animal protein, which Quinn says is becoming critically important in feeding the world. “More and more people in the world are going to be wanting to eat meat and have animal protein,” said Quinn. “The nexus of food and health coming together. As Hippocrates said, let food be your medicine.”
Listen to my interview with Ambassador Quinn: Ambassador Ken Quinn interview
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