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,

World Development, Volume 118, June 2019

Globally, industrial agriculture threatens critical ecosystem processes on which crop production depends, while 815 million people are undernourished and many more suffer from malnutrition. The second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2), Zero Hunger, seeks to simultaneously address global environmental sustainability and food security challenges. We conducted an integrated literature review organized around three disciplinary perspectives central to realizing SDG 2: ecology and agricultural sciences, nutrition and public health, and political economy and policy science.

This Special Issue, bringing together articles from Science of the Total Environment; Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews; Ecological Modelling, and Resources; Conservation and Recycling, highlights the increasing understanding that major systems servicing human well-being, food, energy and water (FEW) systems are inextricably connected, and any attempt to address one dimension in isolation of the others will lead to unexpected, undesired, and far from optimal consequences. Considering these three systems holistically as the Food-Energy-Water Nexus directly considers Sustainable Development Goals 2 (zero hunger), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), and 12 (responsible consumption and production).
Contributing to SDGs 2 and 3, this chapter argues that the use of specific foods to sustain or enhance overall health and wellness requires understanding and regulation to ensure realistic and optimal results.
Elsevier,

Saving Food, Production, Supply Chain, Food Waste, and Food Consumption, 2019, pages 1-31

Food losses and food waste (FLW) have attracted much attention in the world recently and become a priority in the global and national political agenda. Better understanding of the availability and quality of global FLW data is important for benchmarking reduction goals, environmental impacts analysis, and informing mitigation measures. In this chapter, the FLW data for 84 countries and 52 individual years during 1933 and 2014 in 202 publications were examined, contributing to SDG 12.
To what extent is scientific research related to societal needs? To answer this crucial question systematically we need to contrast indicators of research priorities with indicators of societal needs. We focus on rice research and technology between 1983 and 2012. We combine quantitative methods that allow investigation of the relation between ‘revealed’ research priorities and ‘revealed’ societal demands, measured respectively by research output (publications) and national accounts of rice use and farmers’ and consumers’ rice-related needs.
At the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, COP21), a voluntary action plan, the ‘4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate’ was proposed under the Agenda for Action. The Initiative underlines the role of soil organic matter (SOM) in addressing the three-fold challenge of food and nutritional security, adaptation to climate change and mitigation of human-induced greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. It sets an ambitious aspirational target of a 4 per 1000 (i.e.
Elsevier,

Aging, Nutrition and Taste: Nutrition, Food Science and Culinary Perspectives for Aging Tastefully, 2019, Pages xi-xvi

The aging process changes the sensory sciences and can lead to malnutrition as eating becomes less pleasurable. This chapter explores how optimising food taste works toward ensuing ongoing good nutrition and health, contributing to SDGs 2 and 3.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 34, February 2019
The emerging insects-as-food industry is increasingly promoted as a sustainable alternative to other animal protein production systems. However, the exact nature of its environmental benefits are uncertain because of the overwhelming lack of knowledge concerning almost every aspect of production: from suitable species, their housing and feed requirements, and potential for accidental release.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 34, February 2019
There is worldwide concern about the environmental costs of conventional intensification of agriculture. Growing evidence suggests that ecological intensification of mainstream farming can safeguard food production, with accompanying environmental benefits; however, the approach is rarely adopted by farmers. Our review of the evidence for replacing external inputs with ecosystem services shows that scientists tend to focus on processes (e.g., pollination) rather than outcomes (e.g., profits), and express benefits at spatio-temporal scales that are not always relevant to farmers.

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