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Celebrating 'Eating Planet-Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet'

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Crossposted from the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet.

Today, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) and the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet were proud to host "How do we feed (and also nourish) a planet of 7 billion?"

The event featured notable speakers such as: Jonathan Bloom, food waste activist and author of American Wasteland; Ellen Gustafson, founder of The 30 Project and new member of the BCFN Advisory Board; Brian Halweil, publisher of Edible Manhattan and author of Eat Here; Stephanie Hanson, director of policy and outreach for the One Acre Fund; Kelly Hauser, agriculture policy director for the One Campaign; and Dan Morrison, founder and director of Citizen Effect. This marked the official launch of Eating Planet-Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet.

During the event, Samuel Fromartz, editor-in-chief of the Food & Environment Reporting Network, moderated a discussion where speakers debated some of the issues addressed in the book: the paradoxes of the global food system, the cultural value of food, production and consumption trends, and the effects of individual eating habits on health and on the environment.

"More than one-third of the food produced today does not even reach people plates -- about 1.3 billion tons per year -- placing unnecessary pressure on land, water, and soil resources," said Bloom. "All of us -- producers, consumers, policy makers, and those in the food industry -- need to make an effort to reduce the amount of food that is wasted and its environmental impact."

Although agriculture is more productive and efficient than ever before, more than 1 billion people worldwide remain chronically hungry, and another 1 billion people are overweight or obese.

"The fundamental problem continuing to cause both hunger and obesity is that it is difficult, almost everywhere in the world to access nutritious foods," said Gustafson. "In the developed world, food is abundant, but the most abundant is usually the least nutritious and most calorie dense. In the developing world, you can often still access soft drinks or packaged processed foods, but not the diversity of healthy foods that are needed for good nutrition."

Nourishing the Planet and BCFN hope for Eating Planet to contribute to sustainable food and agriculture development in many ways.

"The study's conclusions represent a major step toward ensuring that agriculture contributes to health, environmental sustainability, income generation, and food security," said Paolo Barilla, vice president of the Barilla Group. "The ingredients will vary by country and region, but there are some key components that will lead to healthier food systems everywhere."

Did you attend the book launch, or watch the livestream? Tell us about your experience below!

Click here to purchase a copy of Eating Planet.