This 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report is the fourth in an annual series that provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. In this report, distinguished researchers, policymakers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy in 2014 at the global, regional, and national levels, and—supported by the latest knowledge and research—explain why. This year’s report is the first to also look forward a year, offering analysis of the potential opportunities and challenges that we will face in achieving food and nutrition security in 2015.
Agriculture and rural development play a critical role in alleviating poverty and undernutrition. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has focused its efforts on three pillars of food security: improving agricultural productivity, increasing rural livelihoods, and improving community resilience. This demonstrates Australias commitment to serving the needs of the poorest and constructing the building blocks of global food security in the long term. In 20132014, the Australian governments
spending on food security is expected to total more than 316 million Australian dollars.
Working with many longstanding partners, such as the government of Australia and its Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), IFPRIs research focuses on sustainable agricultural growth that engages the private sector, country-led strategy development, investment in agricultural research, provision of safety nets to strengthen resilience, prioritization of nutrition interventions for women and children, design of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, and partnerships with other stakeholders in global movements, such as Scaling Up Nutrition.
IFPRI, and its partners, help to improve programs and initiatives for vulnerable people. By serving as a trusted voice on food policy issues, IFPRI works to change mindsets and provide evidence on how to improve food and nutrition security. Together, IFPRI and the Australian government support cutting-edge research and measurable targets for increasing agricultural productivity. This brochure highlights some of the key collaborations betweenIFPRI and the Australian government.
This brochure highlights key collaborations between IFPRI and the Australian government, often in partnership with other institutions.
Although existing research highlights interventions likely to benefit the poor and improve agricultural performance, there is limited knowledge about how to create incentives for individual actors, civil society, and public administrations to actively pursue such policies. This knowledge gap is being addressed by the Strengthening Institutions and Governance (SIG) research area of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). At the heart of this research are efforts to identify what types of institutional, incentive, and accountability structures are most conducive to improving the incomes, food security, and nutrition of the poor in low-income countries.
Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years.
In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control.
To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie”, and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.
Eating in the Dark tells the story of how these new foods quietly entered America’s food supply. Kathleen Hart explores biotechnology’s real potential to enhance nutrition and cut farmers’ expenses. She also reveals the process by which American government agencies decided not to label genetically modified food, and not to require biotech companies to perform even basic safety tests on their products. Combining a balanced perspective with a sense of urgency, Eating in the Dark is a captivating and important story account of the science and politics propelling the genetic alteration of our food.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
· The average American carries a "body burden" of 700 synthetic chemicals;
· Chemicals in tap water can cause reproductive abnormalities and hermaphroditic birth;
· One study of lactating women found perchlorate (a toxic component of rocket fuel) in practically every mother's breast milk.
In the face of this national health crisis, Fitzgerald presents informed and practical suggestions for what we can do to turn the tide and live healthier lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Food, and in particular the lack of it, was central to the experience of World War II. In this richly detailed and engaging history, Lizzie Collingham establishes how control of food and its production is crucial to total war. How were the imperial ambitions of Germany and Japan - ambitions which sowed the seeds of war - informed by a desire for self-sufficiency in food production? How was the outcome of the war affected by the decisions that the Allies and the Axis took over how to feed their troops? And how did the distinctive ideologies of the different combatant countries determine their attitudes towards those they had to feed?
Tracing the interaction between food and strategy, on both the military and home fronts, this gripping, original account demonstrates how the issue of access to food was a driving force within Nazi policy and contributed to the decision to murder hundreds of thousands of 'useless eaters' in Europe. Focusing on both the winners and losers in the battle for food, The Taste of War brings to light the striking fact that war-related hunger and famine was not only caused by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, but was also the result of Allied mismanagement and neglect, particularly in India, Africa and China.
American dominance both during and after the war was not only a result of the United States' immense industrial production but also of its abundance of food. This book traces the establishment of a global pattern of food production and distribution and shows how the war subsequently promoted the pervasive influence of American food habits and tastes in the post-war world. A work of great scope, The Taste of War connects the broad sweep of history to its intimate impact upon the lives of individuals.
When the demographer Robert Malthus (1766–1834) famously outlined the brutal relationship between food and population, he never imagined the success of modern scientific agriculture. In the mid-twentieth century, an unprecedented agricultural advancement known as the Green Revolution brought hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, and improved irrigation that drove the greatest population boom in history—but left ecological devastation in its wake.
In The End of Plenty, award-winning environmental journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. puts our race to feed the world in dramatic perspective. With a skyrocketing world population and tightening global grain supplies spurring riots and revolutions, humanity must produce as much food in the next four decades as it has since the beginning of civilization to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe. Yet climate change could render half our farmland useless by century’s end.
Writing with an agronomist’s eye for practical solutions and a journalist’s keen sense of character, detail, and the natural world, Bourne takes readers from his family farm to international agricultural hotspots to introduce the new generation of farmers and scientists engaged in the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. He discovers young, corporate cowboys trying to revive Ukraine as Europe’s breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist channeling ancient Chinese traditions, the visionary behind the world’s largest organic sugar-cane plantation, and many other extraordinary individuals struggling to increase food supplies—quickly and sustainably—as droughts, floods, and heat waves hammer crops around the globe.
Part history, part reportage and advocacy, The End of Plenty is a panoramic account of the future of food, and a clarion call for anyone concerned about our planet and its people.
The planet's 1.6 billion overweight people by far outnumber the 700 million who are undernourished. This figure would have seemed ludicrous just fifty years ago. As a result of unprecedented trends in technology, globalization, government policy, and the food industry that are changing how we eat, drink, and move, we now live in a world populated by overweight people with debilitating health problems.
In this fascinating look at the striking changes in both our lifestyles and food system since World War II, Barry Popkin shows how present options for eating and drinking- especially when combined with a dramatic reduction in physical activity-are clashing with millions of years of evolution to fatten the human race. Popkin argues that widespread obesity-and the chronic health problems that contribute to the bulk of deaths in the world-is less a result of poor dietary choices than about a hi-tech, interconnected world in which governments and multinational corporations have extraordinary power to shape our everyday lives.
The Farm Legacy Letters project, developed by the member-driven nonprofit Practical Farmers of Iowa, is designed to help farmers and farmland owners think about their farm’s future and talk about it with their families. An essential complement to handbooks on business succession, this book gathers the letters and stories of midwestern families about the land they cherish—how they acquired it, what they treasure most about it, and their hopes for its future. Some of the writers descend from families who have owned a particular patch of the earth since the 1800s, while others became farmland owners more recently—one as recently as 2015. Some are no longer farmland owners at all, because—after careful thought about what mattered most to them—they sold their land to the next generation of farmers.
All of these writers hope that, by sharing their farmland legacies, they will encourage others to ponder and then write about the histories, accomplishments, challenges, and hopes for their farmland for the generations who come after they are gone.
Water does not perish, nor require millions of years to form as do fossil fuels. However, water is always on the move. In this timely, important book, Judith D. Schwartz presents a refreshing perspective on water that transcends zero-sum thinking. By allying with the water cycle, we can revive lush, productive landscapes. Like the river in rural Zimbabwe that, thanks to restorative grazing, now flows miles further than in living memory. Or the food forest of oranges, pomegranates, and native fruit-bearing plants in Tucson, grown through harvesting urban wastewater. Or the mini-oasis in West Texas nourished by dew.
Animated by stories from around the globe, Water In Plain Sight is an inspiring reminder that fixing the future of our drying planet involves understanding what makes natural systems thrive.
Award-winning investigative journalist and clean food activist Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger,” is founder and editor of Natural News, one of the top health news websites in the world, reaching millions of readers each month.
Now, in Food Forensics, Adams meticulously tests groceries, fast foods, dietary supplements, spices, and protein powders for heavy metals and toxic elements that could be jeopardizing your health.
To conduct this extensive research, Adams built a state-of-the-art laboratory with cutting-edge scientific instruments. Publishing results of metal concentrations for more than 800 different foods, Food Forensics is doing the job the FDA refuses to do: testing off-the-shelf foods and sharing the findings so the public can make informed decisions about what they consume or avoid.
In Food Forensics, you’ll discover little-known truths about other toxic food ingredients such as polysorbate 80, MSG, sodium nitrite, pesticides, and weed killers such as glyphosate. Adams reveals stunning, never-before-reported details of heavy metals found in recycled human waste used on crops and in parks, and he explains how industrial pollution causes mercury, lead, and cadmium to end up in your favorite protein powders.
This book will forever change your view of food safety, regulation, and manufacturing. When you know what’s really in your food, you can start making changes to protect yourself against serious diseases like cancer, all while maximizing your natural immune defenses against infection and disease.
There are those in America today who seem to feel we must audition for our citizenship, with "Patriot" offered as the badge for those found narrowly worthy. Let this book stand as Wendell Berry’s application, for he is one of those faithful, devoted critics envisioned by the Founding Fathers to be the life’s blood and very future of the nation they imagined. Adams, Jefferson and Madison would have found great clarity in his prose and great hope in his vision. And today’s readers will be moved and encouraged by his anger and his refusal to surrender in the face of desperate odds. Books get written for all sorts of reasons, and this book was written out of necessity.
Citizenship Papers collects nineteen new essays, from celebrations of exemplary lives to critiques of American life, including "A Citizen’s Response [to the new National Security Strategy]"—a ringing call of caution to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.
How aggressive will water-hungry China become in order to secure a sufficient supply of it?
What will happen when climate-triggered conflicts like the one in Sudan spread throughout the continent?
As India takes its proper place at the high table of nations and begins large-scale importing of food, what will happen to already shrinking supplies?
Global Warring takes a hard look at these questions. Journalist and analyst Cleo Paskal identifies problem areas that are most likely to start wars, destroy economies and create failed states. Examining the most likely environmental change scenarios, she illuminates the ways in which they could radically alter human existence. A fascinating tour through our uncertain future, Global Warring also offers a controversial new way forward for the global economy and the worldwide environmental crisis.
From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a "hunger industrial complex" that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex. Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.
Bringing together fieldwork, interviews, and materials from archives and the media on both sides of the Atlantic, DeSoucey offers a compelling look at the moral arguments and provocative actions of pro- and anti-foie gras forces. She combines personal stories with fair-minded analysis of the social contexts within which foie gras is loved and loathed. From the barns of rural southwest France and the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, to exclusive New York City kitchens and the government offices of Chicago, DeSoucey demonstrates that the debates over foie gras involve heated and controversial politics. Her rich and nuanced account draws our attention to the cultural dynamics of markets, the multivocal nature of "gastropolitics," and the complexities of what it means to identify as a "moral" eater in today's food world.
Investigating the causes and consequences of the foie gras wars, Contested Tastes illuminates the social significance of food and taste in the twenty-first century.
Drawing on her deep knowledge of and experience in environmental engineering and toxicology, Silbergeld examines the complex history of the modern industrial food animal production industry and describes the widespread effects of Arthur Perdue’s remarkable agricultural innovations, which were so important that the US Department of Agriculture uses the term chickenization to cover the transformation of all farm animal production. Silbergeld tells the real story of how antibiotics were first introduced into animal feeds in the 1940s, which has led to the emergence of multi-drug-resistant pathogens, such as MRSA. Along the way, she talks with poultry growers, farmers, and slaughterhouse workers on the front lines of exposure, moving from the Chesapeake Bay peninsula that gave birth to the modern livestock and poultry industry to North Carolina, Brazil, and China.
Arguing that the agricultural industry is in desperate need of reform, the book searches through the fog of illusion that obscures most of what has happened to agriculture in the twentieth century and untangles the history of how laws, regulations, and policies have stripped government agencies of the power to protect workers and consumers alike from occupational and food-borne hazards. Chickenizing Farms and Food also explores the limits of some popular alternatives to industrial farming, including organic production, nonmeat diets, locavorism, and small-scale agriculture. Silbergeld’s provocative but pragmatic call to action is tempered by real challenges: how can we ensure a safe and accessible food system that can feed everyone, including consumers in developing countries with new tastes for western diets, without hurting workers, sickening consumers, and undermining some of our most powerful medicines?
Agribusiness has known for decades that packing thousands of birds or livestock together results in a monoculture that selects for such disease. But market economics doesn't punish the companies for growing Big Flu – it punishes animals, the environment, consumers, and contract farmers. Alongside growing profits, diseases are permitted to emerge, evolve, and spread with little check. “That is,” writes evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace, “it pays to produce a pathogen that could kill a billion people.”
In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. Wallace details, with a precise and radical wit, the latest in the science of agricultural epidemiology, while at the same time juxtaposing ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens, microbial time travel, and neoliberal Ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness. Some, such as farming cooperatives, integrated pathogen management, and mixed crop-livestock systems, are already in practice off the agribusiness grid.While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace's collection appears the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics and the nature of science together. Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science to derive a new understanding of the evolution of infections. Highly capitalized agriculture may be farming pathogens as much as chickens or corn.
In Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists historian Kyle G. Wilkison analyzes the patterns of plain-folk life and the changes that occurred during the critical four decades spanning the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Political protest evolved in the wake of the devastating losses experienced by the poor rural majority, and Wilkison carefully explores the interplay of religion and politics as Greenbackers, Populists, and Socialists vied for the support of the dispossessed tenant farmers and sharecroppers.
With its richly drawn contextualization and analysis of the causes and effects of the epochal shifts in plain-folk society, Kyle G. Wilkison's Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists will reward students and scholars in economic, regional, and agricultural history.