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Krishnaswamy teaches scouts about world hunger and food sustainability

The University of Missouri campus was bustling with energy on Saturday, Sept. 29, when more than 700 Boy Scouts gathered from different states to earn their merit badges in more than 40 different subject areas. Kiruba Krishnaswamy, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering and Food Science Program, was the sustainability merit badge counselor for 25 Eagle Scouts. Along with helping the Scouts meet the sustainability merit badge requirements, she introduced United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to young students. In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 17 SDGs — or the Global Goals — to improve the lives of people and the planet by 2030. With less than 12 years to achieve these ambitious goals, it is vital to introduce students to the global challenges facing our world, as they are the future change leaders.

Krishnaswamy stands, hands folded, while addressing students.

Kiruba Krishnaswamy, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering and Food Science Program, with research emphasis in sustainable food engineering was the sustainability merit badge counselor for 25 Eagle Scouts. Photo by Audrey Roloff.

Students were enthusiastic in sharing their views about sustainability and small steps they take along with their families to help the planet. The hands-on activity session during the afternoon was dedicated to the “World Food Day 2018” poster making competition. The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations was created on Oct. 16, 1945. This is why Oct. 16 is celebrated each year across 130 countries as “World Food Day,” to promote worldwide awareness about food security. This year’s theme was #ZeroHunger, which aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2). Young students learned about the double burden of hunger and obesity from the latest report on Food Security and Nutrition (2018). Paintings from this session reflected children’s perspective about food, #ZeroHunger and sustainability.

The FAO poster competition is open to all children around the world (Age 5-19), and participants can enter the global contest by submitting their creation to FAO by Nov. 9. Eagle Scouts who attend the First Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) workshop at University of Missouri will be submitting their masterpiece to “World Food Day 2018” global contest. This event was organised by Krishnaswamy, a new joint hire between College of Engineering and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at University of Missouri. With the support from both the colleges, she was instrumental in initiating the membership process to connect MU with United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), and on Sept. 20, MU became an official member of UNAI. By joining forces across academic institutions, UN agencies, international organizations, food industries and related food sectors, we can share best practices and lessons to end the perpetual struggle against hunger and malnutrition.

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