Saturday, May 25 2019 | Time 01:10 Hrs(IST)
image
  • Terrorists to use truck bombs to break through Syrian army lines : Russian Military
  • Venezuelan opposition envoy takes control of embassy in Washington : Statement
  • Police hunt for suspect in connection with Lyon blast
  • Trump invokes provision to bypass US Congress to sell weapons to Saudis, UAE : Senator
  • Trump hopes US Atty General Barr to look at UK, Australia, Ukraine in Russia probe review
  • Deaths of immigrant children in US government custody "deeply upsetting": UNICEF
Features


Food: Posing threat to people and planet?

Food: Posing threat to people and planet?

United Nations, Feb 7 (UNI) The food we eat has huge potential to improve both human health and environmental sustainability, but too often today it is posing a threat to both people and planet, according to a new report by the EAT-Lancet Commission.

The report was launched on Tuesday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Co-organised by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Permanent Mission of Norway, the head of the agency’s New York office, Satya Tripathi, noted that it was his home country of India, which had originated the aphorism that “you are what you eat”.

“And it not just about food, it’s about process, it’s about what it results in”, he continued, saying that this “age-old wisdom” has been “scientifically articulated in a very powerful manner” in the report, which pins down “the science, the numbers and the analytics of what you need to do to be healthy”.

One-third of the world’s croplands are used to grow feed for cows, rather than fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains which are needed for a healthy human diet.

More than half of the world’s population suffers from some form of malnutrition.

Two billion people have insufficient access to nutrients while another two billion suffer from diseases related to over-consumption and obesity.

Diet-related diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide ­– more than tobacco and drugs combined.

The report argues that there is an immense challenge facing humanity to “provide a growing world population with healthy diets from sustainable food systems”, noting that while calorie production has kept pace with population growth, more than 820 million people either lack sufficient food, consume low quality diets or simply eat too much.

“A radical transformation of the global food system is urgently needed”, the report stressed, without which the world not only risks failing to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2015 Paris Agreement, but leaves today’s children dealing with environmental degredation and a population increasingly suffering from malnutrition and preventable disease.

Gunhild A Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair of the EAT Foundation, told the launch event that while food poses intrinsic challenges in nearly every part of the Sustainable Development Agenda leading up to 2030, it also has “super powers”.

“The power of food is all about connections” she stated, “the links between people and planet are everywhere, but nowhere are these connections more obvious or the synergies more numerous than on our plates and across the food system”.

Flagging that a healthy food supply will be a defining issue of the 21st Century, the report provides a scientific blue print for a healthy and sustainable future, spelling out that “if we change the way we produce, consume, transport and waste food we can feed everyone a healthy diet and improve the health of the planet”.

United States-based actor and activist Alec Baldwin, warned that humankind was “causing global climate change, which, if we do not act, will be our undoing”.

He urged everyone to look at “the mutually achievable goals” of food and environmental security, saying that we need to alter agricultural priorities to make better use of the land we already have and drastically reduce meat production.

“If we shift to plant-rich diets, we can help save the planet”, Mr. Baldwin asserted. Transforming the food system can also lower risks of cancer, strokes and diabetes and avoid 11 million adult deaths per year, the meeting heard.

To move to a healthy diet, the reports suggests that the world doubles its consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts while reducing at least by half, red meat and food with added sugar.

“The greatest challenge we face is influencing human behavior, you cannot outlaw the consumption of meat…We can only shine a light” on cause and effect, concluded Mr Baldwin.

EAT is a global non-profit established with partners to catalyze a food system transformation.

UNi XC-SNU 1259

More News
Saving tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

Saving tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

21 May 2019 | 3:11 PM

Port Morseby, PNG, May 21 (UNI) The tree kangaroo which is only found in the rainforests of Australia, West Papua, and PNG is threatened due to hunting and habitat destruction.

see more..
Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

21 May 2019 | 3:00 PM

United Nations, May 21 (UNI) It’s an overcast morning, in South Sudan’s capital Juba, and growling thunder announces the start of some light rain.

see more..
Non-EU graduates struggle with Swiss job access

Non-EU graduates struggle with Swiss job access

20 May 2019 | 4:33 PM

Bern, May 20 (UNI) Swiss companies would be happy to employ foreign specialists with a Swiss degree, but complicated rules and immigration laws present obstacles for both companies and graduates who come from countries outside the EU or EFTA.

see more..
European elections 2019: Political climate may boost Greens

European elections 2019: Political climate may boost Greens

19 May 2019 | 6:15 PM

London, May 19 (UNI) Are Europe's Green parties benefiting from a Greta Thunberg effect?
The Fridays for Future environmental protests, championed by the teenage Swedish activist, have put climate change concerns centre-stage, days away from the European elections, say a BBC News report by Bethany Bell.

see more..
Sri Lanka:10 yrs since end of civil war; govt failed to deliver justice

Sri Lanka:10 yrs since end of civil war; govt failed to deliver justice

18 May 2019 | 2:46 PM

Colombo, May 18 (UNI) Ten years since the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war, the government has failed to provide justice for the conflict’s many victims.

see more..
image