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Symposium explores sustainable food and diets

Recognizing that the cross-section of agriculture, nutrition and health is becoming increasingly important in the quest for solutions to malnutrition, The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation has organized an important nutrition dialogue on 15 September, the opening day of the 20th International Congress on Nutrition in Granada, Spain.

Recognizing that the cross-section of agriculture, nutrition and health is becoming increasingly important in the quest for solutions to malnutrition, the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation has organized an important nutrition dialogue on 15 September, the opening day of the 20th International Congress on Nutrition in Granada, Spain.

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, with technical support from Bioversity International, will present 'Sustainable Food and Diets: From Theory to Evidence-based Successful Practice'. Sustainable diets are characterized by low environmental impacts, contributions to food and nutrition security, as well as healthy lives for present and future generations.

“The triple burden of malnutrition is increasing: undernutrition, obesity and also micronutrient deficiencies even for those who appear healthy. We no longer can rely on “silver bullets” to solve the challenges of hunger, nutritional imbalance and the unintended consequences of the global shifts in consumption.  We need a comprehensive, sustainable approach to the factors that promote healthy diets and lifestyle,” says Bruce Cogill, Nutrition Programme Leader at Bioversity International.

Today almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. Unsustainable models of development are degrading the natural environment, threatening ecosystems and biodiversity that will be needed for our future food supply. Calls for profound changes in our agriculture and food systems are becoming more frequent and more insistent.

The half-day symposium, part of the international congress in Granada, begins at 13.30 on 15 September in the Machado and Picasso rooms in the Granada Conference Centre.

Ten speakers from a wide range of sectors will provide the latest research models, theories and evidence:

  • Jessica Fanzo, Columbia University, USA
  • Emile Frison, Bioversity International, CGIAR Consortium member, Italy
  • Timothy Johns, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Canada
  • Eileen Kennedy, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, USA
  • Tim Lang, Centre for Food Policy, City University London, UK
  • Sarah Elaine Lewis, The Sustainability Consortium and Adjunct Professor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA
  • Tony Long, WWF European Policy Office, Belgium
  • Jennie Macdiarmid, Public Health Nutrition Research Group, The University of Aberdeen, UK.

Barbara Burlingame, Principal Officer of the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and Lawrence Haddad, Director of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, UK, will chair sessions during the event.

“This symposium will examine nutrition looking at food systems in a multidisciplinary way: the foods we eat, the overall diets we choose, the links between production, consumption and food processes, and how the environment, cost, access, culture, policies and other factors affect our nutrition and health,” says Guilhem Soutou, Program Manager of The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation.

Sustainable food systems and diets are gaining attention from the scientific community and policymakers. A book co-published by Bioversity International and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN is redefining what sustainable diets are. “Sustainable diets respect ecosystems and are culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; are nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; and optimize the use of natural and human resources.” Bioversity International, in partnership with the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation has also published a technical brief on the metrics of sustainable diets. In addition, 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition' will be the focus of World Food Day on 16 October 2013.

Jessica Fanzo, former Senior Nutritionist at Bioversity International and laureate of the Premio Daniel Carasso international research prize in 2012, was a key contributor to Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity – Directions and Solutions for Policy, Research and Action published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and Bioversity International in 2012.

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All videos and presentations from the Symposium are now available to watch Opens external link in new windowhere. 

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The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation was established in early 2010 in memory of Daniel Carasso, founder of Danone in France, and his wife Nina. Its objective is to fund projects in two areas critical to human well-being: Sustainable food and diets, to nourish the body, and Citizen Art, to nourish the mind.

Bioversity International is a research-for-development organization working with partners worldwide to use and conserve agricultural and forest biodiversity for improved livelihoods, nutrition, sustainability, and productive and resilient ecosystems. Bioversity International is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global research partnership for a food secure future.

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