World Food Day 2020 - Grow, nourish, sustain. Together.

Elsevier, 2nd October 2020

Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates World Food Day on October 16th to commemorate is founding in 1945. In support of this years theme - 'Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together' - Elsevier presents a curated, open access collection of 40 journal articles and book chapters focussed on increasing food security and sustainability. 

In the 75 years since the founding of FAO, the world has made great progress in the fight against poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. Agricultural productivity and food systems have come a long way. Still, too many people remain vulnerable.

As part of our SDG Impact of COVID-19 podcast series, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, spoke to Dr Sam Scheiner, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. As discussed during this episode, there is a clear link between nutrition and our immune systems, something that has become even more important in light of the pandemic. More than 2 billion people do not have regular access to enough safe, nutritious food. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to this challenge, threatening to reverse important gains in food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. Now is the time to address the persistent inequalities and inefficiencies that have continued to plague our food systems, economies and social support structures. Now is the time to build back better.

World Food Day 2020 is calling for global solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable, to recover from the crisis, and to make food systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers. This will require better social protection, innovation and digitalization, and sustainable agricultural practices that preserve the Earth’s natural resources, our health, and the climate. But we all have a role to play, from increasing the overall demand for nutritious food by choosing healthy, to not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside, and joining the global solidarity effort, despite these uncertain times.

Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 86, December 2020
Targeted interventions have important under-explored potential for reducing meat consumption. We hypothesized that group-specific interventions targeting reduction for reducer, moderate-hindrance, and strong-hindrance meat eaters would be effective. All participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions designed for these three meat-eating groups, or to a control condition. Following the intervention, up to 28 days of food diaries were gathered to measure their consumption of animal products, which were weighted according to their greenhouse gas emissions.
Elsevier, Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Volume 26, December 2020
The recent sharp increase of sensitivity towards environmental issues arising from plastic packaging has boosted interest towards alternative sustainable packaging materials. This new trend promotes the industrial exploitation of knowledge on chitosan-based films. Chitosan has been extensively investigated and used due to its unique biological and functional properties. However, inherent drawbacks including low mechanical properties and high sensitivity to humidity represent major limitations to its industrial applications, including food packaging.
Elsevier, Food Chemistry, Volume 310, 25 April 2020
Improvements in the effectiveness of packaging materials can help to prevent foodborne pathogens and reduce environmental waste. Traditionally, food is packaged in plastic that is rarely recyclable, negatively impacting the environment. Biodegradable packaging materials play an important role in maintaining the health of ecosystems. However, there are limitations in the utilization of bio-based materials, including poor barrier and mechanical properties which frequently cause a shorter shelf life compared to conventional food packaging materials.
Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 85, October 2020
The dichotomous divide between vegetarians and omnivores seems clear: Omnivores eat meat, whereas vegetarians do not. Yet classifying people dichotomously as vegetarian or omnivorous overlooks a distinct group of people who limit their meat intake but still include some meat in their diets: a group of “mostly vegetarian” dieters called flexitarians (a term combining the words, “flexible” and “vegetarian”).
Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 87, January 2021
The consumption of meat contributes significantly to undesirable effects on the environment. In order to reduce the impact of animal husbandry, one approach is to decrease meat consumption by substituting plant-based meat alternatives. Because the consumption of such meat alternatives is currently rather low, the aim of this research was to identify the barriers that keep people from consuming meat alternatives and increase the probability of future consumption.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 26, December 2020
Food waste valorization is a hot topic due to the cornucopia of waste generated and the ensuing detrimental environmental effects. Food is lost or wasted in a variety of means on its way from field to mouth. Once deemed inedible, it is considered a waste, but it still contains first-rate organic material that can be processed and used to create a host of new products, chemicals, or energy. Upgrading food wastes can be performed in a variety of processes.
Elsevier, Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 3, June 2020
Obesity represents an important public health concern because it substantially increases the risk of multiple chronic diseases and thereby contributing to a decline in both quality of life and life expectancy. Besides unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and genetic susceptibility, environmental pollutants also contribute to the rising prevalence of obesity epidemic.

International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2e, 2020, pages 177-179

This chapter advances SDGs 2, 3 and 11 by providing an overview of global food insecurity and the proposed avenues to address it.

Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, Volume 2, 2019, pages 1-7

Advancing SDGs 2, 3 and 11, this chapter gives an overview of how food security, nutrition and sustainability are interrelated.

Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, Volume 1, 2019, pages 9-16

Contributing to SDGs 2, 3 and 11, this chapter gives an overview of the processes and motivations behind the conception, implementation and persistence of global agricultural policies which have led to food insecurity.