Food Systems Must Be Transformed To Ensure Food Security, Good Nutrition

“Even though we produce 1.5 times enough food for every man, woman and child on the planet, nearly a billion people go hungry while over a billion are malnourished,” Eric Holt Gimenez, executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Food for Thought” blog. “Ensuring environmental sustainability, food security and good nutrition around the world — as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) asserts — will require a radical transformation in how we grow, process and distribute our food,” he states, noting, “The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reached a similar conclusion in their 2013 report [.pdf], ‘Wake Up Before It’s Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now For Food Security.'”

“Luckily, we have many examples of good food systems in the making,” Gimenez continues, highlighting the use of agroecologically managed smallholder farms, urban farms, and community-supported agriculture groups throughout the world. “We know what practices make a food system sustainable; why don’t we enact enabling policies to prioritize them?” he asks, writing, “The simple answer is that the institutions that produce the agreements, laws and regulations shaping our food systems don’t yet have the political will to make sustainable food systems a priority, and they are still a long way from addressing the structural changes needed for food system transformation.” However, “[t]he movements for food sovereignty, food justice, agroecology, climate justice, women’s rights and labor rights are spreading, and their influence on our food system is growing,” he states, adding, “These developments and many others indicate that the catalyst for transforming food systems — political action — is already in the making, and that the global food movement is on the move” (10/20).

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