Article: Imaging Inside Out: SWIR for Apples

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Food. The food industry forms the economic backbone of many countries, both for national consumption and export. Each contributes to jobs and livelihoods around the world and is an expression of culture and values. It’s also essential to our survival.

And it’s changing. While it’s still too early to measure the true impacts of COVID-19 on global trade and consumption, many other factors are driving changes to food production, particularly climate change and population growth.

Some food supply can easily continue with little interruption. While there are more than 50,000 edible plants in the world, just 15 of them provide 90% of the world’s food energy intake. Of these, rice, corn, and wheat comprise nearly two-thirds. These core staples are easy to store and process. Already, many U.S. farmers producing wheat and rice have been able to rely on mechanized tools and processes that limit human-to-human contact and meet CDC guidelines for safe operation, even under pandemic conditions. As a result, the International Food Policy Research Institute reported in March 2020 that the pandemic does not currently pose a major threat to global food security; adequate stores of these staples remain.