Posted onJune 24, 2016
- Beans are finally getting their due—the UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are crops harvested solely for the dry grain and include crops like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas. The International Year of Pulses will highlight the potential for these plant-based proteins to improve food security, enrich soils and increase incomes for farmers around the world.
- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization LIBERATIONproject is highlighting effective ways to reduce—and even reverse—agriculture’s environmental footprint. According to LIBERATION, food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050. Ecological intensification—increasing yields through ecosystem services, rather than external inputs—is critical to achieving this goal. Follow Food Tank’s monthly Harvesting the Research series in 2016 to hear from researchers and scientists of the project.
- The 2016 Global Forum for Food and Agriculturewill take place in Berlin from January 14–16. The international conference focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. The 2016 theme focuses on the importance of urban agriculture for improving food security.
- The newly launched Family Farming Knowledge Platformwill support family farmers around the world. Launched by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the Family Farming Knowledge Platform provides a wealth of information, data and legislation, aiming to build stronger public policies in support of family farming worldwide. This new digital platform represents the potential to unlock farmers’ solutions to everyday challenges.
- The Sustainable Food Trustwill hold the Real Cost of American Food conference in April to highlight the high cost of cheap food in the U.S. The event will uncover the economic distortions of our current food system, which depends on intensive farming, to reveal the dishonest food pricing that is holding back the shift to sustainable practices in farming.
- The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Foodproject is working to reveal the true worth of eco-agri-food systems, helping policymakers to better understand the complex links between ecosystems and food. A final report from the project will be finished in 2016, highlighting the positive and negative externalities of food production. Stay tuned for this definitive publication to find out more about the nexus of food, health and the environment.
- Food waste is finally getting the attention it deserves. From U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree’s (D-Maine) Food Recovery Actto the UN’s goal to halve food waste by 2030, leaders are taking action on this massive problem. 2016 may be a landmark year for revising sell-by labels, improving donation incentives, de-stigmatizing imperfect produce and scaling out composting
- Recognition for women farmers as climate leaders is growing. From Africato the Caribbean, women farmers are finding ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change and improve food security. Food Tank and CARE International recently released a joint report on equitable solutions in the face of climate change, recommending that women farmers receive a fair share of recognition and resources.
- Sustainable diets are gaining traction as consumers, public health advocates, scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand the connections between nutrition, climate change and environmental impacts of specific dietary patterns. At COP21in Paris, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Futurepresented results from a new report revealing the links between animal product consumption and global climate change, showing the need for a massive shift in global diets. As the Paris agreement moves forward, leaders hope to amplify the public health message as a key area of advance work prior to 2020