Why fixing food systems is crucial for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals

Why fixing food systems is crucial for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals

(Reuters)-- Food is a common thread linking all 17 development goals, given the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of food systems

Food loss and waste—primarily developed countries—stands in stark contrast to widespread undernourishment—mainly in developing countries. Around 821m people, or one in every nine, went hungry in 2017.

Meanwhile, around a third of the food produced for humans is lost or wasted—about 1.3bn tonnes each year. If only a quarter of the food lost and wasted could be saved, it would feed 870m people. This is but one example of broken food systems.

In order to meet SDG 2 (zero hunger) policymakers must look at the economic, social and environmental dimensions of food systems and how they are interconnected.

Food loss and waste is one of the three pillars of the Food Sustainability Index (FSI), developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition. The other two are sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges. The FSI shows that France is a global leader in limiting food loss and waste, for example thanks to legislation requiring supermarkets with a footprint of 400 square metres or larger to redistribute leftover food to charities serving poor communities.