Healthy Farms for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet
Sustainable Harvest International, United States of America
Nature produces food for all its species including humans, yet humans try to destroy natural ecosystems and replace them with chemicals, GMOs & machines to grow our food. While those making money from the chemicals, GMOs and machines claim that their products are necessary to feed the growing human population, more and more world leaders are saying that the only way to sustainably feed ourselves is with agro-ecological systems that embrace nature rather than destroy it.
The presentation will provide an overview of how common farming practices are contributing to environmental and social decay including poverty, hunger, malnutrition, illness, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. This will be followed by a look at the results of research showing the importance of a global shift to sustainable farming practices and finally a success story or two from amongst the 2,000 Central American farms that have participated in Sustainable Harvest International's sustainable farming extension program. The focus will be on the long-term, integrative approach that links ecosystem health, human health, societal health and a healthy planet.
Innovative organizations such as Sustainable Harvest International have for decades steadfastly refused to take the quick and simple approach to rural development of handing out chemicals that may increase farm production in the short-term but will impede production in the longer-term, while also causing environmental and health problems. Instead, SHI along with other organizations and businesses are promoting the idea that it is worth the extra effort to provide farmers with the kind of technical assistance that will allow them to produce more by using nature's systems.
Let Them Eat Eggs: Promoting the Vital Contribution of Eggs to Food and Nutrition Security in Resource-Poor Settings
1The University of Sydney, Australia; 2International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, Australia; 3The University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; 4International Egg Foundation, London, United Kingdom; 5Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
Animal source foods are widely-recognised for their valuable contribution to human nutrition, as sources of high-quality protein and bioavailable micronutrients. In developing countries, they have the potential to greatly enhance the nutritional adequacy of traditional diets based on staple crops. Globally, poultry numbers have more than doubled in the past 25 years, in marked contrast to the more conservative increases in the number of other livestock. Family poultry encompasses a range of small-scale production systems which comprise up to 80 percent of poultry stocks in low-income food-deficit countries, in rural, urban and peri-urban areas.
The availability of eggs throughout the year can help to mitigate the effects of seasonal food shortages, particularly in scavenging systems where less palatable or less nutrient-dense food sources can be transformed into highly nutritious food for human consumption. Eggs constitute an important source of choline, essential fatty acids, vitamins and protein, and are known to be amongst the most affordable sources of many nutrients – with particular importance for growth and development during the intra-uterine and early post-natal periods.
A recent collaborative effort between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and International Egg Foundation (IEF) has brought together representatives from the poultry sector in Zimbabwe, with recognition of the potential for a greater contribution to national food and nutrition security. Current research funded by the governments of Australia, Tanzania and Zambia is exploring egg consumption patterns with a particular focus on nutritionally-vulnerable groups. Through the introduction of a Newcastle disease control program, this work aims to provide households with guidelines on the inclusion of eggs in existing local diets. Consideration is also being given to other barriers to egg consumption, with a project comparing storage options to increase the conservation of eggs in village settings.
Mass and Elite Framing of Food Security Concerns in Australia
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra, Australia
This Paper looks at the topic of Food Security from the perspective of elite and mass political drivers in the Australian Economy. In Australia Food Security is taken for granted by the population as Australia has traditionally been a food exporter and even in drought conditions Australia has been able to cope due to its size and scale of food production. The fact that Australia imports a significant part of its food is based on price not production capacity and here food quality standards are of central importance.
The globalization of food production and processing have raised significant concerns for Australian consumers as food may be grown in one country under one set of regulations and packaged in another representing a potential unknown threat to Australian consumers.
There are competing preferences among Australian consumers and political elites. These tensions include preferences for food grown in Australia; preferences for fresh over canned produce; and price considerations which may favour imported food and canned produce over fresh. The lack of supermarket competition in Australia exacerbates this tendency with their home brands.
This paper examines the extent to which these tendencies prevail among Australians and their political elites using a survey of Australian MPs and analyses of social media communications on Facebook and Twitter regarding food security concerns in Australia. The MP survey will contain both multiple choice and free responses which differentiate their framings of food security concerns while the social media communications will be analysed using a series of machine learning techniques. The contribution of the paper is the identification of political possibilities and constraints for addressing food security concerns in Australia.
INTEGRATED FOOD SECURITY: Mapping and Selecting Different Indicators and Metrics
In food security, integration of data and knowledge across disciplines is needed to prevent food-related diseases, improve sustainability, traceability, quality, animal welfare, diminish food waste, have a clear picture of the environmental impact, improve communication to different stakeholders and introduce nutritional factors considering the enlarging need to ”feed the planet”. We propose a map of indicators and metrics for making a holistic assessment of food considering human health risks (e.g. infectious agents, contaminants), benefits (nutritional values), environmental impacts, and social impacts (in particular vulnerable population).The map is analysed with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for each problem formulation. A pig Italian product is the first case study.
The map is focus on the availability of databases, data uncertainty and on the preferences of different stakeholders (governance regulators, NGO, distribution chains, small and big production industry, consumers) in relation also to different regulations (e.g. CODEX alimentarius, Water Framework Directive, REACH). Each indicator is investigated with a the list of queries (e.g. formula, single, composite, regulated, possible to be calculated, databases availability, uncertainty, variability).Key indicators and defined metrics for decision making for each specific problem formulation (e.g. a variable to improve food safety but enlarging environmental impact) are assessed using the SWOT approach.
Risk Assessment (Human health, Environmental, Food) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) procedures and databases can be carefully combined within decision process in order to get an optimal set of descriptive indicators, metrics and values for a specific problem formulation.
Still lot of research is needed to improve the quality and reproducibility of input data for these studies and some area are still missing in both disciplines (e.g. microbial assessment and Endocrine Disruptors activity in LCA , transport data referred to food traceability in RA, chemicals total emissions, mixture exposure, animal welfare , social, health and safety).
Eggs: The Un-Cracked Potential of Eggs to Improve Human Nutrition Around the World
1International Egg Foundation, UK; 2University of Sydney, Australia; 3FAO, Italy
Eggs are one of the most recognized and accepted foods by consumers around the world. They are generally acknowledged as naturally rich in proteins and certain vitamins and minerals. With production increasing worldwide by 14 million tonnes or 25% between 2000 and 2010, can the eggs contribute further to human nutrition?
Regular eggs can contribute to meeting the basic human needs in terms of proteins and other nutrients in the developing world where protein consumption is low and often of plant-origin. The work required to maximize their potential is massive, taking into consideration the needs to concurrently boost production and promote consumption in a number of countries. A model based on Private-Public Partnership has been developed to build capacities within national producers’ organizations to achieve improvement in egg production and egg consumption in Southern Africa.
In the developed world, in addition to their recognized nutritional value, eggs can be used as a vehicle to deliver more nutrients such as vitamin A, folic acid and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in deficient populations. The science behind the enrichment of nutrients in the egg has been well demonstrated and it is fairly easy and cost effective to produce these functional eggs. A number of nutritional and health benefits have also been clearly demonstrated in sound clinical studies. For instance, the consumption of eggs enriched in n-3 PUFA have shown to contribute to lower serum triglyceride levels and higher HDL-cholesterol, both related to a reduced risk of fatal ischemic heart disease. Unfortunately, the potential of these functional eggs for human nutrition and health is still not yet realized due to a number of reasons related to the nature of the egg itself, the skepticism of consumers, the promotion and advertising required and the lack of support from the health professionals.