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Food Thinkers: Can we have it all? - Considering the trade-offs in achieving both human and planetary health

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Centre for Food Policy
Location
Online
Event date
Event time
17:15 – 18:45 BST

Organiser’s description

Speaker: Jess Fanzo, Johns Hopkins University, USA

In the context of the broad global trends of population growth, the climate crisis, and inequitable diets, food systems need to be re-oriented to ensure they can produce enough food that nourishes the world. At the same time, food systems must decrease the pressure on biodiversity loss, conserve land and water resources, minimize air and water pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The current COVID-19 pandemic has imposed an additional level of pressure on the governance, functionality, efficiency, and resilience of food systems, with potentially long-lasting implications. This re-orientation includes moving towards on-farm sustainable food production practices, lessening food loss and waste, addressing poverty by creating jobs and decent livelihoods, and providing safe, affordable, and healthy diets for everyone. This is a lot to ask of an already entrenched system involving diverse actors with diverging priorities and motivations. Food policy is central to changing systems, and bold policies must be applied to accelerate and incentivize economic, societal, and technological transformations towards a more socially just and sustainable global food system. But policy decisions come with synergies, trade-offs, and short- and long-term, often unexpected consequences. In a world of uncertainty, can we have both human and planetary health—can we have it all? This seminar will explore that question through a global lens that takes the audience through a range of sticky debates that plague food system transformation and governance.

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