Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food security and nutrition

In 1996, the World Food Summit stated that food security ‘exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.’ This definition encompasses four key elements: 1) the physical availability of food, 2) the legal, political, economic and social arrangements which assure access to food, 3) the ability to utilise food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well-being, and 4) the stability of all these factors across time. Today, just under 800 million people are undernourished. Compounding this problem, changing dietary patterns (sometimes referred to as the ‘nutrition transition’) brought on by the processes of globalisation mean that, obesity is also now a growing problem, and many developing and emerging countries now find themselves presented with a ‘double burden’ of poor nutrition. Over 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese and most of these are to be found in middle and low income countries simply because their populations are so great. Overlapping with these numbers some 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies (most commonly of iron, vitamin A and iodine) which causes physical and cognitive problems, particularly in children and women of childbearing age.

3 November 2016

Sight and Life publishes a magazine which covers a wide range of nutrition related topics in developing countries. Their latest edition focused on food systems and can be found here.

 

Photo credit: SarahTz, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
3 November 2016

Drawing on studies from Africa, Asia and South America, this book provides empirical evidence and conceptual explorations of the gendered dimensions of food security. It investigates how food security and gender inequity are conceptualized within interventions, assesses the impacts and outcomes of gender-responsive programs on food security and gender equity and addresses diverse approaches to gender research and practice that range from descriptive and analytical to strategic and transformative. 

Credit: Juan Mercada, Olor a Marrakesh, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
11 October 2016

Ongoing discussions on agriculture within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will culminate this year at the COP22 climate negotiations in Marrakech, following a long process since their initiation in Durban in 2011. The talks in Marrakech follow the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 which, in its preamble, explicitly refers to safeguarding food security. Also, the vast majority of countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submissions (i.e. climate pledges) prioritise agriculture as a sector for adaptation and mitigation action.

Credit: wellunwell, soft drinks, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
11 October 2016

This study estimates the environmental impacts of what it terms discretionary foods - foods and drinks that do not provide nutrients that the body particularly needs. It finds that these foods account for 33-39% of food-related footprints in Australia.

Photo: Province of British Columbia, Dawson Creek, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
11 October 2016

A key objective of this Special Issue is to provide a creative space for scholars who may be limited in the scope of their publication outlets, especially when it comes to proposing “out of the box” ideas.  

 Photo: Global Water Forum, Agriculture in China, Creative Commons License 2.0
4 October 2016

China’s influential Agricultural Development Bank has agreed to lend at least 3 trillion yuan (US$450 billion) by 2020 to China’s agriculture industry to promote a large scale modernisation process. The move was made together with the Ministry of Agriculture and included an agreement to protect national food security, develop China’s seed industry and support agricultural investors who wish to expand abroad.  

4 October 2016

New book on sustainable urban agriculture.

Photo: US Army Africa, USAID, FLickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
4 October 2016

In this short article, the authors argue that the explicit absence of the ‘right to food’ in the Sustainable Development Goals is unjust and is due to opposition by the US and a self-contradictory position by the EU. The Sustainable Development Goals do name access to water, health and education as universally guaranteed human rights.

28 September 2016

This foresight report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (Glopan) outlines a vision for a food system that reduces malnutrition and promotes health. It is designed to help policy-makers make their food systems more supportive of high quality diets.

31 August 2016

Do you have 10 minutes to help Dr Arianna Psichas with a survey exploring people's views on the purchase and consumption of high-protein foods?

Image: US Department of Agriculture Cropland Data Layer, Flickr
31 August 2016

Future demand for food and for land is set to grow. A key question is therefore: how can we most productively use land for food, in order balance the multiple competing demands for the ecosystem services it provides? One way this has been investigated previously is by looking at crop yields and how to increase them. Another way, focussing instead on the consumption side, has looked at the metric of dietary land footprint.

23 August 2016

This report provides a developing country perspective on rural-urban linkages in food systems. It examines the role of rural-urban linkages in fostering inclusive and sustainable food systems, focusing in particular on sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns, New York, Flickr, Creative commons licence 2.0
16 August 2016

In this PhD thesis, Leah M. Ashe from Cardiff University School of Planning and Geography, examines how narratives of “food security” are constructed in New York city and Bogotá and how they are influenced by different development ideologies and discourses.

1 August 2016

This report by members of the Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos aims to better inform discussions across civil society, media and government, and at EU policy level, regarding Ireland’s climate, energy, and wider environmental responsibilities.

Photo: Patrick Gruban, UN General Assembly, Flickr creative commons licence 2.0
1 August 2016

This paper looks at how global institutional arrangements and the lack of a global nutrition policy are hindering successful functioning of the global food system by failing to provide international public goods and services for poverty reduction.

24 July 2016

The Global Nutrition Report is a multipartner initiative that holds a mirror up to our successes and failures at meeting intergovernmental nutrition targets. It is an independent and comprehensive annual review of the state of the world’s nutrition that documents progress on commitments made on the global stage, and it recommends actions to accelerate that progress.

Photo: Sonla, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
8 July 2016

109 Nobel laureates have signed a sharply worded letter to Greenpeace urging the environmental group to rethink its longstanding opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The signatories include past winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine, chemistry, physics, and economics.

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