Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.
Milan is the city where Leonardo da Vinci painted his iconic Last Supper. Frozen in time is the moment Christ told his disciples there was a traitor among them. Visitors to the painting can examine the expressions on the faces of the disciples and look the food they might have eaten – the bread and wine, and of course the spilt salt. As one delegate to the 10th International Forum on Food and Nutrition noted, the diet did not seem varied or healthy.
Global food systems are ripe for transformation if people are to be nourished and the planet sustainable, says Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur of the Right to Food of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
A coffee producer will receive a cent and a half from a $2.50 cup of coffee. This one stark fact stood out as scientists, researchers, activists and grappled with solutions for change in food and nutrition practises, which would benefit the greater community.
A start-up in Zimbabwe is producing high nutrition foods using biofortified crops in a bid to fight micronutrient deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) leads to night blindness, illness and death from childhood infections. In Zimbabwe, 36 percent of children under five years of age suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition. This is the result of diets lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and zinc, which are vital for the body to function, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
It was almost a decade ago when Ruma Begum and her family left their home in Bangladesh’s coastal Tazumuddin upazila or sub-district and travelled some 50 km away to start a new life. They had been driven out of their home by an extreme and changing climate that has continued to ravage the district of Bhola.
Humankind since almost the time that there is recorded history has grappled with the question of ‘how many is too many?’ The response is expectedly complex as it varies across time and space. The pace of population growth was slow till about approximately 250 years or so. It is only since the middle of the eighteenth century that there has been a palpable acceleration in population growth.
Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a global appeal for “zero hunger” on World Food Day last month, he provided some grim statistics rich in irony: more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, he said, while two billion people are overweight or obese.
Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours sit under a tree at his uncle’s house, playing chess and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
The sun has barely risen when Phlida Kharshala shakes her 8-year-old grandson awake. He hoists an empty cone-shaped bamboo basket on his back, sets the woven strap flat across his forehead and off they go into the wilderness.
Adwoa Frimpomaah, a smallholder farmer from Dandwa, a farming community in Nkoranza, in Ghana's Bono East Region, and her two children have been consuming insect-infested and discoloured grains produced from their three-acre farm.
China’s almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.
With up to one billion undernourished people around the world, and agriculture and land use systems increasingly vulnerable to climate change and land degradation, more companies within the global food industry need to start aligning their operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
Théophile Houssou, a maize farmer from Cotonou, has spent sleepless nights lying awake worrying about the various disasters that could befall any farmer, often wondering, “What if it rains heavily and all my crops are washed away?” or “What if the armyworms invade my farm and eat up all the crops and I’m left with nothing?”
It is slightly after 3pm on a hot Wednesday afternoon in Chipata district, eastern Zambia, and a group of women are gathering for a meeting. It is Elizabeth Tembo’s turn to stand amongst the other mothers like herself and share key lessons on nutrition.
“Unfortunately the overall nutritional panorama of Egypt does not look well,” says Dr. Sara Diana Garduno Diaz, an expert concentrating on nutrition and biology at the American University of the Middle East. Diaz’s research focuses on dietary patterns and ethnic-associated risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
There’s much to think about regarding food this month. April is Reducing Food Waste Month in the United States, as efforts mount here to reduce food loss and waste, while globally Sunday Apr. 7 was World Heath Day.
Food sustainability, both in production and consumption, is at the heart of a healthy public and planet.
On World Health Day, it is increasingly clear that a radical transformation of the global food system is sorely needed.