GRAND CHALLENGE 4
We must play a global leadership role to ensure a safe, secure, and abundant food supply for the United States and the world.
Rapid increases in the world’s population, climate change, and natural disasters will challenge the use of natural resources and necessitate concomitant increases in food production, nutritional quality, and distribution efficiencies. New scientific knowledge that enhances food commodities, minimizes contamination, ensures a secure food supply, and supports effective and reasonable regulatory policies will be needed.
Our areas of scientific focus are:
Developing technologies and breeding programs to maximize the genomic potential of plants and animals for enhanced productivity and nutritional value
Identifying plant compounds that prevent chronic human diseases (e.g., cancer), and developing and encouraging methods to enhance or introduce these plants and compounds into the food system
Developing effective methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, trace the origin of, and respond to potential food safety hazards, including bioterrorism agents, invasive species, pathogens (foodborne and other), and chemical and physical contaminants throughout production, processing, distribution, and service of food crops and animals grown under all production systems
Developing food supply and transportation systems and technologies that improve the nutritional values, diversity, and health benefits of food and that enhance preservation practices, safety, and energy efficiency at all scales, including local and regional
Decreasing dependence on chemicals that have harmful effects on people and the environment by optimizing effective crop, weed, insect, and pathogen management strategies