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.