Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture

Food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture constitute fundamental elements that contribute significantly to the attainment of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are a globally shared blueprint that calls for peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. Focusing on food security and nutrition is directly linked to SDG 2 which seeks to "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture." Beyond SDG 2, these themes also relate to other SDGs such as Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-being, Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 13 - Climate Action. The relationship between sustainable agriculture and these goals is profound; by promoting eco-friendly farming methods, we reduce the environmental footprint, mitigate climate change, and ensure the long-term sustainability of food production systems.

Moreover, sustainable agriculture is vital in fostering biodiversity, improving soil health, and enhancing water use efficiency, which are critical aspects related to Goals 14 and 15 - Life below Water and Life on Land respectively. By safeguarding our ecosystems, we not only ensure food security but also the preservation of the natural environment for future generations. In turn, better nutrition is a conduit to improved health (SDG 3), and it can also influence educational outcomes (SDG 4), given the known links between nutrition and cognitive development.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the interconnections go beyond these goals. There's an important nexus between sustainable agriculture, food security and issues of poverty (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), and economic growth (SDG 8), among others. Sustainable agriculture creates job opportunities, thus reducing poverty levels. By empowering women in agriculture, we can help achieve gender equality. Proper water and sanitation practices in agriculture can prevent contamination, ensuring clean water and sanitation for all. Therefore, the triad of food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, while being a significant goal in itself, is also a vehicle that drives the achievement of the wider Sustainable Development Goals.

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, known as arboviruses, pose a significant threat to human life and are a major burden on many health systems around the world. Currently, arbovirus control strategies rely on insecticides or vector source reduction and, in the absence of effective, accessible and affordable vaccines, mainly on symptomatic based, non-specific treatments. However, insecticides have the potential to interfere with non-target organisms, cause environmental toxicity and insecticide resistance reduces their effectiveness as a sustainable control method.
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.
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.
Quality attributes such as moisture content, colour parameters and shrinkage of apples change undesirably during the drying process. Drying is a highly dynamic process, thus, an effective optimisation in terms of product quality and process performance requires continuous non-invasive measurement of the parameters in question.
This study investigated the drying behaviour of purple-speckled Cocoyam and the effect of drying temperature (40 °C, 60 °C and 75 °C), slice thickness (4 mm, 7 mm and 10 mm) and pre-treatments (blanching in boiling water for 3 min, blanching in boiling water for 3 min followed by dipping in 0.1 per cent sodium metabisulfite for 5 min) and non-pre-treated slices. The process and quality criteria under consideration included the total drying time, rehydration ratio, colour difference, browning index and specific energy consumption.

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.


Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020

Insects such as the black soldier fly (BSF) are a nutritious feed component for livestock with high protein levels. BSF can be reared on a wide range of organic residual streams. This allows for local production within a circular agriculture, decoupling livestock production from import of expensive feed components, such as fishmeal or soymeal. Rearing of BSF can be done by smallholder farmers, thus contributing to their livelihood, economic sustainability and social status. Smallholder farmers contribute importantly to food security, which is a prerequisite for a stable society.

An Article in support of SDGs 2 and 3, analysing the effectiveness of multiple micronutrient powders in infants and showing net health benefits of this intervention in most countries, although cost-effectiveness varied in different settings.
Food safety concerns every food handling facility and is intricately woven with food nutrition. There are many factors that can make food incongruous for the consumption of humans. Contributing to SDGs 2 and 3, this chapter highlights the different scenarios related to food in respect of microorganism growth, different types of food poisoning caused by different sources, like microbial contamination, pesticides residues, improper handling of food, personal unhygienic practices, and their safety measures.
China is a key player in global production, consumption, and trade of seafood. Given this dominance, Chinese choices regarding what seafood to eat, and how and where to source it, are increasingly important—for China, and for the rest of the world. This perspective explores this issue using a transdisciplinary approach and discusses plausible trajectories and implications for assumptions of future modeling efforts and global environmental sustainability and seafood supply.