Diversifying Food and Diets: Using Agricultural Biodiversity to Improve

Diversifying Food and Diets: Using Agricultural Biodiversity to Improve Nutrition and Health (Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity)

  • Full Title : Diversifying Food and Diets: Using Agricultural Biodiversity to Improve Nutrition and Health (Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity)
  • Autor: Jessica Fanzo
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition
  • Publication Date: May 30, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849714576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849714570
  • Download File Format | Size: pdf | 24,50 Mb

 

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Currently 868 million people are undernourished and 195 million children under five years of age are stunted. At the same time, over 1 billion people are overweight and obese in both the developed and developing world. Diseases previously associated with affluence, such as cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease, are on the rise. Food system-based approaches to addressing these problems that could enhance food availability and diet quality through local production and agricultural biodiversity often fall outside the traditional scope of nutrition, and have been under-researched. As a consequence, there remains insufficient evidence to support well-defined, scalable agricultural biodiversity interventions that can be linked to improvements in nutrition outcomes.

Agricultural biodiversity is important for food and nutritional security, as a safeguard against hunger, a source of nutrients for improved dietary diversity and quality, and strengthening local food systems and environmental sustainability. This book explores the current state of knowledge on the role of agricultural biodiversity in improving diets, nutrition and food security. Using examples and case studies from around the globe, the book explores current strategies for improving nutrition and diets and identifies key research and implementation gaps that need to be addressed to successfully promote the better use of agricultural biodiversity for rural and urban populations and societies in transition.

 

Review

“At a time where fortification is widely promoted as the most effective solution to address micro-nutrient deficiencies, this book serves as an important reminder that nature provides an almost infinite variety of food species which are disregarded and therefore pushed into oblivion and extinction by the prevailing food production system. It is urgent to remind policy makers that agriculture is primarily about using natural resources to feed people. Sustainable development will only happen if we manage such resources in a sustainable way, building on local cultures, protecting and strengthening livelihoods, and ensuring good nutrition and health.” – Florence Egal, Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods, Nutrition Division, FAO 

“This book is important and deserves a wide readership. Only once governments are convinced of the importance of agricultural biodiversity, shall they implement the policies that are urgently required to move away from the direction of agricultural development that is dominant today – one that favors uniformity over diversity, top-down research and development on new crops rather than bottom-up and participatory approaches, and monocropping over integrated farming systems.” – From the foreword by Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food 

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the authors and partner organizations on this milestone publication. Their work offers a comprehensive summary of contemporary information and good practices, identifies gaps in research and provides insight on potential opportunities for a variety of policy options. I look forward to more sustainable management of biodiversity in all ecosystems, but particularly in agricultural ecosystems, where we can truly achieve a healthy partnership between people and the planet.” From the foreword by Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Convention on Biological Diversity

“This new book by researchers from Bioversity International explores the current state of knowledge on the role of biodiversity – including crops, livestock and fish – in improving diets, nutrition and food security. It also discusses the enabling environment needed to support research in the area, including measuring impact … The authors give ample evidence for the multiple positive roles played by agricultural biodiversity, not only as a safeguard against hunger and as a support for healthier diets, but also as a means to strengthen local food systems and environmental sustainability.” – SPORE

About the Author

Jessica Fanzo was formerly a Senior Scientist with Bioversity International and is now an Associate Professor of Nutrition at Columbia University in New York. 

Danny Hunter is the Global Project Coordinator at Bioversity International for the UNEP/FAO/GEF project ‘Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use for improved human nutrition and wellbeing’ and Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Agriculture and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt Univeristy, Australia. 

Teresa Borelli is a Programme Specialist at Bioversity International working for the UNEP/FAO/GEF project ‘Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use for improved human nutrition and wellbeing’. 

Federico Mattei was formerly a Programme Specialist in the Nutrition and Marketing division at Bioversity International in Rome.

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