According to an article written by Zareen Bharucha, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Essex, entitled How to feed nine billion people, and feed them well, there is an emerging global movement working to create new ways to build more participatory and ecological systems of food production. Within this movement, nutrient-dense foods are an essential part of the solution for healthier people and a healthier planet. Read the full article from theconversation.com below:
“Resource-intensive agriculture, despite its productivity, nevertheless has failed to feed the world’s current population, never mind the nine billion people expected by 2050. This system that currently fails both people and planet is ripe for revision.
We need to be more ambitious, to go beyond simply producing more. We need to produce more of what’s good – not just cereal staples, but nutrition-dense foods – in ways that can prevent or even reverse land degradation, encourage biodiversity, conserve water, and allow the world’s poor more equal access to land, food, and markets than has historically been the case.
There is a significant “triple burden” of malnutrition. Some 850m people don’t have enough to eat. Perversely some 1.4 billion people are overweight, 600m of them obese. Both groups suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, a lack of key vitamins and minerals. These imbalances mean we ought to examine what exactly is being produced, and how it is distributed. The co-existence of highly productive agricultural systems and hunger, of obesity and starvation, powerfully highlight how global agriculture has failed to substantially narrow economic inequalities, and has perpetuated nutritional imbalances on billions.
And despite its failures, agriculture’s costs are high. Crop and livestock production is responsible for half the methane and two-thirds of the nitrous oxide released by humans. The use of nitrous fertiliser has disrupted global nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. And agriculture is a leading driver of global biodiversity loss, something that greatly affects communities around the world that rely on wild species for food and income.”