• Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 21,921 other followers

  • Instagram

    Today, the United States spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste.Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for how we can address food loss due to poor transportation and storage. Link available in bio or copy/paste this link: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste Today, we are celebrating women in science for International Women's Day! The International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. These particular five women have been at the forefront of some of today’s most complex and controversial scientific issues including genetic engineering and lab-grown meat. In addition to highlighting their work, these interviews explore the influence of gender in food and science. Click link in bio #IWD2017 #internationalwomensday #womeninstem #foodscience http://hubs.ly/H06wKB60 Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. What can we do with spilled, wilted, blemished produce? Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for bringing life back to the "ugly" lettuce. Link available in bio or copy and paste the following to view solution: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste #Repost @hanna_instruments ・・・
The Hanna Texas team had a great time at @iftfoodscience's Lunch & Learn at @nasajohnson on 2/23. Hanna USA proudly sponsored this event featuring a talk by @nasa scientist Dr. Shannon Walker, a tour of the food lab facility, and behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control! Thank you again to IFT and NASA for an incredible event.

Norman Borlaug: Turning Dreams into Bounties

In the mid-1980s, I was Senior Vice President and Chief R&D Officer Worldwide at General Foods Corp., a leader in processed foods innovations. Into this picture came Norman Borlaug, someone I did not know and who represented accomplishments in agriculture, an area I respected as vital in the chain of supplying food to large numbers of people. He was clearly a man of vision and determination. Borlaug “fathered” the Green Revolution through his many accomplishments in breeding new wheat varieties and in his ability to convince others to bring modern agricultural practices to “the farmers,” as he always explained.

Norm was recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of has agricultural leadership, but it bothered him that he “had to pass through the window of Peace” because there was no award for agriculture. Typical of Norm, he did not let it rest there, so starting with the Nobel organization and everywhere else his travels took him, he tried to convince others to establish such an award to recognize the vital importance of agriculture to human civilization. But it wasn’t until the late 1980s that he found support in perhaps a most unexpected place—General Foods Corp. But even then his prize for agriculture was not to be because his potential sponsor was interested in a food prize that would recognize all of the links in the food chain from the farm to the table. Typical of Norm’s ability to accept new ideas, he immediately embraced the broader concept and in 1986 The General Foods World Food Prize was announced. He has said many times to me how happy he was to finally see his dream come true.

That was the good news, but there were many pieces that had to be put in place: an organization, a system of operation, and a selection of worthy and inspiring laureates. As Chair of the Council of Advisors, I could dedicate myself to the organization and system, since I was newly retired. Norm assumed the responsibility of finding great laureates as Chairman of the Selection Committee.

And all went well during the start-up years until 1990 when the realities of the business world struck! After a series of acquisitions and mergers by Philip Morris Cos., a new parent, Kraft General Foods, emerged and the new Kraft management decided to drop sponsorship and ordered the termination of the Prize.

Norman Borlaug was deeply saddened and felt abandoned by the move, as did I and the Council of Advisors, but he and I and the leadership of the Winrock Foundation, the Secretariat of the Prize, vowed that we would either convince Kraft not to drop the sponsorship or find another sponsor. That all had to be done in the midst of the 1990 award year.

Norm did not quit easily, nor did I, and we refused to see his dream perish in adolescence. We knocked on company doors, we contacted moneyed friends, we visited countless Chambers of Commerce, anyplace where we might find a new life. While we were greeted with sympathy and even some promises, no one stepped forward to adopt the Prize. While he was very discouraged and fearful that the Prize might die, Norm never gave up the search and he was an inspiration to me and his dream became my dream, too. We did manage to scrounge enough money to go forward with the 1990 award not knowing if there would be another.

Then in 1990, Norm and I went to Des Moines, Iowa, at the request of its Chamber of Commerce to plead our case. Norm presented his dream and I presented the organization’s history and accomplishments. We struck a resonate chord with a very generous individual, John Ruan, a wealthy Des Moines banker who had entertained thoughts of such a prize on his own and shared our dream. Ruan pledged to adopt the Prize and the rest is Iowa history. (To read a comprehensive article on the creation and history of The World Food Prize, please click here.)

While I continued as a member of the Council of Advisors, Norm was reunited with his ancestral history as a native of Iowa. For the past 19 years until Norm’s death at 95 this past September, he has lived his dream over and over again as an administrator of The World Food Prize and a member of its Council of Advisors.

He is one of only five people in the world to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Nobel Peace Prize.

All his life, he retained his faith in agriculture and the wisdom of the farmer.  I am told that when on his deathbed he was advised of a new technology in agriculture, he said, “Take it to the farmers!”

Al ClausiA.S. Clausi
IFT President 1993-94
Council of Advisors – World Food Prize

2 Responses

  1. Al Clausi’s role in the creation of the World Food
    Prize and his support of it throughout the years is a remarkable story of foresight, leadership, perseverance and savvy. As a Past President of IFT, he does our organizaton proud! Thank you, Al, for your efforts to this day to highlight the accomplishements of the pioneers in food science and agriculture.

  2. Where is the article referenced above regarding the history of the World Food Prize? In particular the early, pre-Iowa, history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: