One of the great human achievements over the last half century is that advances in food production have largely kept pace with demand on a global basis. Today, around six billion people are not hungry, up from about two billion 50 years ago.
But we should not be complacent. Despite these successes, nearly one billion people are still hungry, and at least three billion more lack sufficient nutrients. Paradoxically, there are also already more than two and a half billion people overweight or obese; different, overlapping forms of malnutrition are the ‘new normal’.
We also know that current food system activities will continue to significantly impact natural resources, and that environmental and socioeconomic shocks and stresses are increasing.
How then can food system resilience be enhanced to (i) ensure sufficient, nutritious food for a growing, increasingly wealthy population while (ii) mitigating poor health and environmental outcomes, and (iii) also enhancing vibrant enterprise and livelihoods?
Based on a brief introduction to food system challenges, the presentation will consider plausible future food demand and the consequences for health, society and environment. It will then consider the nature of shocks and stresses, concluding with considerations relating to enhancing food system resilience.
Dr Ingram's presentation will be followed by audience Q&A.
About the speaker
Dr John Ingram is Food Systems Programme Leader at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.
Dr Ingram’s interests are in the conceptual framing of food systems; the outcomes of these activities for food security, livelihoods and environment; and food system resilience. He has had substantial research interaction with many national and international organisations, NGOs and businesses on the links between food security and environment through the analysis of food systems.
In addition to leading the food system research group within Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, he leads the multi-university food systems training programme (IFSTAL) and coordinates the UK Global Food Security programme ‘Resilience of the UK Food System’. He is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College.
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