Most people aren’t huge fans of bees, but without them we would go hungry pretty fast. The common honeybee pollinates 130 different crops within the U.S. alone including fruit, vegetables, and tree nuts to name a few. In the November 2011 issue of Food Technologymagazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Contributing Editor and IFT President Roger Clemens and Contributing Editor Peter Pressman write that nearly one-third of the U.S. food supply requires the common honeybee to survive.
An emerging threat to the global food supply is called honeybee colony collapse disorder. Due to different viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, honeybee colonies in different parts of the world are beginning to dissipate. Without honeybee pollination, some crops like almonds, pumpkins, watermelons, and some other melons would disappear completely, (Gallai et al. 2009). In the absence of the honeybee, ingredients like vanilla spice would require manual pollination that takes additional human labor, time and money.
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT’s mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.
For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit ift.org.