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.

Humans, through agricultural fertilizer application, inject more reactive nitrogen (Nr) to terrestrial ecosystems than do natural sources. Ammonia volatilization is a major pathway of agricultural Nr loss. Using a process-based dynamic model, Shen et al. show that ammonia volatilization from agricultural land in the US will increase by up to 81% by the end of this century due to climate change alone, posing threats to food security, air quality, and ecosystem health, but mitigation strategies are available.
The consumption of plant-based milk substitutes has spread rapidly around the world due to its numerous positive health effects on the human body. Individuals with cow's milk allergy, lactose intolerance, and hypocholesterolemia prefer these beverages. In spite of the added sugar and lack of total protein content, phenolic compounds, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidant activity, and bioactive compounds such as phytosterols and isoflavones make plant-based milk substitutes an excellent choice.

Producing food exerts pressures on the environment. Understanding the location and magnitude of food production is key to reducing the impacts of these pressures on nature and people. In this Perspective, Kuempel et al. outline an approach for integrating life cycle assessment and cumulative impact mapping data and methodologies to map the cumulative environmental pressure of food systems. The approach enables quantification of current and potential future environmental pressures, which are needed to reduce the net impact of feeding humanity.

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Food Science, Volume 33, June 2020
Sensory and consumer researcher can focus on the three main topics exemplified in this short review: corporate and consumer social responsibility, low income or vulnerable consumers, and migration. The concept of corporate and consumer social responsibility has gained more and more attention as people attempt to understand the relationship between the effort made by industry to carry out social and environmental actions.
This book chapter addresses SDGs 3 and 10 by explaining how stakeholders can ensure the most accurate data about food security for policymakers.

Polymer Science and Innovative Applications, Materials, Techniques, and Future Developments, 2020, Pages 525-543

This chapter supports SDGs 2, 9 and 12 by discussing the critical role that polymeric materials play in terms of food packaging - increasing responsible consumption and sustainability, supporting transport of food, and reducing food waste. The chapter also highlights the latest developments in bio-based/biodegradable food packaging which offers a more sustainable route than traditional synthetic plastic food packaging.
Advancing SDGs 2, 12 and 15, this chapter contributes to an understanding of the long-term impacts, challenges and benefits of agronomic practices impacts.

Wheat and Barley Grain Biofortification, 2020, Pages xxi-xxii

This chapter contributes to SDGs 2 and 3 by addressing topics associated with the alleviation of malnutrition in globally diverse populations via wheat and barley biofortification.
Climate change and population growth generates a decrease in water availability around the world which can compromise the maintenance of sustainable agriculture. Thus, treated wastewater (TWW) became an alternative to minimize water shortage. However, this may indirectly affect the soil's microbial properties. In this study different soils irrigated for 0, 1, 8 and 20 years with TWW were sampled and from the east central region of Tunisia.

Food Safety, Past, Present, and Predictions, 2020, Pages 179-203

This book chapter addresses SDGs 2 and 17 by explaining the past, present and future of food safety.