From September 5 to 9, the Italian city of Mantova will welcome authors and book-lovers alike for the highly anticipated festival of Festivaletteratura—the festival of literature. Writers from all over the world will host inspiring presentations in historical palaces and squares, inviting attendees to listen and ask questions about topics ranging from particle physics, to philosophic poetry, to international food procurement.
At a recent event held at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., members of the health and nutrition community from Italy and the United States came together to discuss the multiple challenges that obesity presents. Researchers, doctors, government officials, and corporate executives came together to discuss the causes—and the economic and medical implications—of obesity and the needed policy and corporate interventions to address what is a global epidemic.
BCFN's double pyramid compares the nutritional and environmental impacts of various foods.(Image credit: BCFN)
Panelists also looked at the connections between nutrition and the environment, especially how consumption habits might contribute to environmental sustainability. Riccardi discussed the “double pyramid” which was created by BCFN after extensively reviewing various food categories in all parts of the food chain from harvest to consumption. The double pyramid highlights how healthier foods also tend to have a lower impact on the environment.
Check out this review of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet in Italy’s Mediapress Italia.
“The report provides a real “road map”, made up of agricultural innovations and hundreds of completed projects, to alleviate global poverty, improve food security and promote the fight against climate change and the preservation of natural resources,” says the review.
To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.
Nourishing the Planet wasrecently featured on Italy’s FM Blue radio station. Click here to listen to an audio clip of an interview with Andrea Segré from the University of Bologna and Last Minute Market, and Salvatore Ceccarelli from the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) as they discuss State of the World 2011 and how agriculture can help reduce global food insecurity.
Here are some other highlights from the week: this week’s Nourishing the Planet TV episode explores how biogas stoves take advantage of what is typically considered waste to provide a clean and safe source of energy. Biogas units use methane from manure to produce electricity, heat and fertilizer, emitting significantly less smoke and carbon monoxide than other sources of fuel and reducing the amount of time that women spend gathering firewood.
Check out this interview with David Waltner-Toews, Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, and founding president of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health. Waltner-Toews is an expert in the epidemiology of food and waterborne diseases, zoonoses, global change and emerging diseases, and ecosystem approaches to health, and in this interview he discusses radiation in food in response to the radiation leaks from Fukushima power plant in Japan.
This week’s innovation features Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, which includes a variety of methods to reduce chemical inputs, such as planting pest-resistant crop varieties, waiting to plant for several months during “no-host periods” to reduce opportunities for pests to reproduce, and using organic controls, such as insects that eat pests. Farmers using IPM are able to reduce pests and improve their harvests without the cost–both financial and health-wise–of chemical pesticides and other inputs.
To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.
Slow Food International’s “A Thousand Gardens in Africa” project aims to create community food gardens to increase food security. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)
In the span of a week, the coordinators evaluated the need for food gardens in communities across the continent, and created guidelines for the project. During their meeting they discussed various management issues, including organic pesticides, training activities to promote traditional food gardens, and access to inputs, such as water and seeds.
At the end of the week, they returned to their respective countries–Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, and ten others– where they will work with local Slow Food convivia and other NGOs, to establish these gardens. The coordinators will come together again over the rest of the year to share ideas and monitor the projects’ progress.
Earlier this week, co-Project Director Danielle Nierenberg met with representatives from IFAD in Rome, Italy to discuss the projects she saw on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa that are helping alleviate poverty and hunger, while also protecting the environment. Many of these innovations are also featured in State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet.
To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE .
It has been a busy and productive week in London where we have met with a variety of agricultural stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, journalists, and development organizations. We look forward to another full week here before heading off to launch State of the World 2011 in Germany and Italy.
Check out an interview with Philippe Conraud, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Oxfam Great Britain. He discusses the work Oxfam GB has been doing to help people in West Africa recover from the area’s recent food crisis that was the result of extreme drought throughout 2009 and sky rocketing food prices around the world.
This week’s innovation features Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective (WC), a federation of women’s groups from 1,500 villages in India that is working to improve water and food security, while empowering women farmers to become decision makers at the household level, increase their participation in local government decision-making, and promote environmentally sustainable farming practices.
In sub-Saharan Africa up to 80 percent of farmers are women. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is holding the third global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum this week in Rome, Italy. The Forum—which brings together more than 70 farmers groups from around the world—is an opportunity for IFAD and other groups to learn firsthand, from farmers, the challenges they face in the field.
On Saturday, the Forum held a workshop to discuss the unique challenges faced by women farmers. Women are the majority of farmers in the world—particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where up to 80 percent of farmers are women. In addition to the day-to-day problems faced by women farmers—including the lack of access to credit and land tenure—women also are underrepresented in farmers groups, associations, and unions, making it hard for their voices to be heard.
But by increasing women’s participation and representation in these groups, women and men farmers alike can work together to improve gender awareness, as well as improve their access to loans and agricultural inputs and land tenure.
Participants at the forum are also discussing the importance of increasing agricultural education among youth. Youth make up 60 percent of the population in rural areas and making agriculture an attractive and economically viable option for them in the future will be important for improving food security and livelihoods (See Cultivation a Passion for Agriculture).