Knowledge for better food systems

Biodiversity, food and nutrition

This book looks at how local food biodiversity can help to improve nutrition. Chapters cover the impacts of poor diets, evidence for the role of biodiversity in supporting healthy diets, agroecology, public food procurement, youth-led innovations and reframing food systems narratives.

Publisher’s summary

This book examines the challenges and impacts of poor diets and nutrition from current food systems and the potential contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services in addressing these problems.

There is a strong need for a multi-level, cross-sectoral approach that connects food biodiversity conservation and sustainable use to address critical problems in our current food systems, including malnutrition. Building on research from the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (BFN), which aims to better link biodiversity, diets and nutrition, the book presents a multi-country, cross-sectoral analysis of initiatives that have promoted local food biodiversity in four countries: Brazil, Kenya, Turkey and Sri Lanka. This book offers a comprehensive summary of the BFN Project results in each of the four countries along with lessons learned and how this work could be upscaled or applied in other regions. It argues that the strategic promotion and use of food biodiversity is critical in uniting attempts to address conservation, nutrition and livelihood concerns. The book is structured around chapters and case studies encompassing the BFN Project with specific experiences related by partners who played key roles in the work being done in each country. By offering a comparative view capable of furthering dialogue between the respective countries, it is also meant to connect the individual cases for a “greater than the sum of its parts” effect. This means consideration of how localised activities can be adapted to more countries and regions. Therefore, the book addresses global issues with a foot planted firmly in the grounded case study locations.

This book will be of great interest to policymakers, practitioners and NGOs working on food and nutrition, as well as students and scholars of agriculture, food systems and sustainable development.

 

Reference

Hunter, D., Borelli, T. and Gee, E. (eds.)(2020). Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition: A New Agenda for Sustainable Food Systems. Routledge, London and New York.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource building block What is malnutrition? 

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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