Food insecurity is on the rise in some of the world’s most developed countries and yet in these same countries an overabundance of unhealthy food options is driving rates of high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. There is an immediate need to improve food quality, reduce waste, reduce marketing of unhealthy foods and ultra-processed foods in low-income communities and developing countries. Simultaneously there must be an increase in equitable access to nutritious, culturally appropriate foods that are produced agroecologically and minimize climate change impacts.
The globe is facing a dual health crisis: hunger and poor diet. Both are functions of an imbalanced system that creates scarcity to foster excess. The global adoption of a heavy diet of salt, sugar, and red meat creating with it mass ecosystem destruction and global health issues. Healing will only come from balance and by moving away from global extraction that poisons the water and land we depend upon. Due to the ubiquitous influence of the industrialized food system, there is also more need for education and awareness about ways to prepare foods healthfully.
Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the day humans surpass the Earth’s ability to regenerate the amount that’s been taken from it. In 2019 Earth Overshoot Day was July 19 and in 2020, because of Covid-19 Earth Overshoot Day was August 22. We take too much and leave too little. It’s time to change that and learn to live and farm and consume and dispose in regenerative ways that let the world and all that depend on it flourish
Food and farm workers around the world are united by their poor treatment, low wages, and poverty. Those who put food on the tables of the world often can’t afford to put healthy food on their own. In order to achieve SDG 8 and to bring more health and dignity to the world’s food systems, food and farm workers must be treated equitably.
As the world has globalized the hubs responsible for providing basic needs have become monopolized, less diverse, and more dispersed to such a degree that just five countries are responsible for 60% of the world’s food supply. Building resilience to climate shocks means directing financing for local agro development, increasing equitable access, and engaging local Indigenous and community growers to produce bioregional appropriate foods that can be supplemented by world markets.