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

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, One Earth, Volume 3, 21 August 2020
Global climate change and land degradation are two grand changes facing humanity. In this perspective, we examine how degraded and abandoned farmland can be harnessed to fight climate change. Building upon and extending natural climate solutions, we suggest that the carbon capture and storage of abandoned farmland can be accelerated and maximized through restoring the diversity of plant species, applying biochar to soil, and co-developing renewable energy such as solar power. The benefits of these approaches extend far beyond climate-change mitigation and land restoration.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 21 August 2020
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the guiding policy for agriculture and the largest single budget item in the European Union (EU). Agriculture is essential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the CAP's contribution to do so is uncertain. We analyzed the distribution of €59.4 billion of 2015 CAP payments and show that current CAP spending exacerbates income inequality within agriculture, while little funding supports climate-friendly and biodiverse farming regions.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 25, October 2020
Food production entails a series of steps and operations that convert raw biomass into final products suitable for human consumption. Along the production chain, an enormous amount of side stream is generated. On one side, these represent a burden for the producers due to related disposal issues. On the other hand, many side streams are recognised as a valuable mass containing broad variety of health beneficial and functional ingredients.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 23, June 2020
To be socially accepted widely, the emerging circular bioeconomy needs to rely increasingly on residual bio-based feedstock and waste, hence reducing its dependency on crops which are in competition with agriculture/food markets. Food waste represents a valuable option as it allows for the production of a wide range of bio-based products ranging from biofuels to bioplastics. First successful experiences have shown that the involvement of stakeholders with different behaviours, values and backgrounds is a key enabler of the process.
Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 97, March 2020
Background: Cultured meat has emerged as a breakthrough technology for the global food industry, which was considered as a potential solution to mitigate serious environmental, sustainability, global public health, and animal welfare concerns in the near future. Although there is promise that cultured meat can supplement or even replace conventional meat, many challenges still need to be resolved in the early stages.
Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 86, December 2020
Research on the relationship between vegetarianism and subjective well-being (SWB) has produced inconsistent results, which may partly be due to small sample sizes and divergent operationalizations of well-being.
Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 103, September 2020
Background: In humanitarian contexts, ensuring access to safe, nutritious, good quality and culturally appropriate food in the right quantity at the right time and place during an emergency or a protracted crisis is an enormous challenge, which is likely to increase given uncertainties such as climate change, global political and economic instability and emerging pandemics like COVID-19. Several international organizations and non-government organizations have well established systems to respond to food security emergencies.
Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 102, August 2020
Background: Plant-based meat alternatives are developed to address consumer demands and sustainability of future food supply, and the market has grown exponentially in recent years. Although progresses have been made to construct plant protein-based fibers organoleptically comparable to a whole-muscle cut, it remains challenging to reproduce the hierarchical organization of muscle tissue known to contribute to the overall sensory profile. For now, the market strategies are largely focused on restructured or formed meat mimeticks.
Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 95, January 2020
Background: Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients, with numerous health benefits. Most consumers are not meeting the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. Yet, a significant amount of fruits and vegetables that is produced is wasted. There are opportunities to recover the wasted fruits and vegetables for manufacturing value-added products to improve the sustainability of healthy diets and reduce the environmental footprint.
Elsevier, Food Policy, Volume 75, February 2018
Wasting food is one of the rare problems that affects our ability to achieve economic goals in terms of food security, environmental sustainability, and farm-financial security. Most of the ideas proposed to this point involve either behavioral nudges or administrative regulations that are either too paternalistic or piecemeal to represent viable solutions. In this study, we investigate the potential for commercial peer-to-peer mutualization systems (CPMSs), or sharing-economy firms, to emerge as market platforms for the exchange of surplus food.