Food Systems Focus Group begins

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the MCRN Food Systems Research Focus Group will hold its first (web-based) meeting. John Ingram, the Food Systems Programme Leader at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, UK, will present an introduction to food systems. He is one of the editors of Food Security and Global Environmental Change.

With about 1 billion people hungry, 2 billion with insufficient nutrients and over 2 billion already overweight or obese (Ng et al. 2014), malnutrition is affecting the health outcomes of over half the global population. Many factors besides food production drive food and nutrition security. The food system refers to the entire system of activities by which calories and nutrients are grown, harvested, traded, processed, transported, stored, sold, prepared and eventually become the food we consume. Thus, food system ‘actors’ include producers, post farm gate food chain actors and consumers. There are multiple feedbacks among these activities, resulting in the overall food security outcomes (as relating to availability of, access to and utilization of food). The Food Systems diagram, courtesy of the Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Security (CIMSANS), illustrates these feedbacks.


At the MCRN Annual Meeting in September, Mary Lou Zeeman presented the challenge to formulate a conceptual model with the goal of attaining sustainable food and nutrition security. She invited members to join the focus group and bring their skills. Several researchers signed up and are undoubtedly looking forward to John Ingram's talk on Tuesday.

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