Working Toward Creating a Just and Sustainable Food System
Distinguished Professor of food science David Julian McClements served on the National Academy of Sciences Planning Committee for a workshop on building a more sustainable, resilient, equitable and nourishing food system.
The proceedings of the workshop have been published as a book, which can be downloaded for free as a PDF or purchased as an 84-page paperback for $45. The virtual workshop explored integrating the future needs of the food system with its health, societal, economic and environmental effects.
“This workshop focused on the policy, educational, scientific and technological advances that are needed to create a food supply chain that would better serve the growing global population. In particular, it focused on creating a modern food and agriculture system that would create high- quality foods that are safe, healthy and sustainable, while also ensuring that workers in the supply chain had secure, rewarding and well-paid jobs,” says McClements, who explored some of the same topics in his book, “Future Foods: How Modern Science Is Transforming the Way We Eat.”
“In response to climate change and the recent pandemic, the workshop also paid particular attention to how to make the food system more robust and resilient,” he adds. “The results of the workshop will be of interest to anyone interested in understanding how we can create a better food system in the future.”
The new National Academies book summarizes the presentations from the workshop, which explored new expectations within three dimensions of the food system: vulnerabilities, resiliency and transformation. Participants discussed the global issues of access to nutritious food, as well as consumption- and production-related strategies for transforming the food system.