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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 project were proud to host “How do we feed (and also Nourish) a planet of 7 billion?”

The event featured notable speakers such as food waste activist and author of American Wasteland, Jonathan Bloom; creator of The 30 Project and member of the BCFN Advisory Board, Ellen Gustafson; publisher of "Edible Manhattan" and author of Eat Here, Brian Halweil; and founder and director of Citizen Effect, Dan Morrison, among others, and marked the official launch of Eating Planet–Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet.

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.”

During the event, Samuel Fromartz, editor-in-chief of the Food & Environment Reporting Network, moderated a discussion where speakers debated some of the issues the 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—about 1.3 billion tons per year—does not even reach people's plates,” said Bloom. “All of us—producers, consumers, policymakers, and those in the food industry—need to make an effort to reduce the amount of food that is wasted and its environmental impact.”

Nourishing the Planet and BCFN hope for Eating Planet to contribute to sustainable food and agricultural 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!

Seyyada Burney is a Research Intern with Nourishing the Planet.

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.

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