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Food Systems and Nutrition Patterns

Food Systems and Nutrition Patterns
Scientific research can make a critical contribution to addressing global challenges and achieving the SDGs. As part of an effort to improve processes of research uptake in policy making, this report synthesizes research submitted by Geneva-based institutions and their global networks to the project From Science to Practice: Research and Knowledge to Achieve the SDGs on the theme of food systems and nutrition patterns.

The report explores the potential for transforming global food systems and nutrition patterns so that they minimize environmental impacts, are resilient to shocks, and ensure all people equal access to a healthy diet, now and in the future. It considers the various challenges that are driving hunger and malnutrition, and their environmental consequences—including exclusion of smallholder farmers from global value chains, corporatization of agriculture, shifting nutrition systems as a result of increasing urbanization, and unsustainable consumption preferences—and the ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing and brought about new challenges. The report then turns to initiatives across the globe that are providing sustainable alternatives to our broken food system, including community- and solidarity-based food networks, support for smallholder farmers, public investment schemes in sustainable food systems, and the promotion of locally centred consumption. The report highlights the possibilities for scaling up these initiatives through tailored public policy, and the key role that governments, agricultural enterprises, solidarity networks, and scientists and practitioners have to play as agents for sustainable transformation within global food and nutrition systems.

About the author
Neetu Choudhary is an Associate Professor at Amity University Patna (India) and Adjunct Faculty at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University.

This report was prepared for the project From Science to Practice: Research and Knowledge to Achieve the SDGs, an initiative by a consortium of Geneva-based institutions to carve out a new channel for relevant, timely, interdisciplinary research to play a central role in policy making for sustainable development. The project is coordinated by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the Geneva Science Policy Interface (GSPI), the Think Tank Hub, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland and the SDG Lab, and funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 28 May 2021
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISBN: 978 92 9085 124 0
    From: UNRISD/UN Publications