June 9, 2012
CIERP Director William Moomaw recently co-authored “The Critical Role of Global Food Consumption Patterns in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems and Food for All, A UNEP Discussion Paper," published in advance of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The paper was written with Timothy Griffin of the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University, and Kristen Kurczak F'04 and James Lomax of
The paper presents a novel perspective on the need to consider (and change) food consumption patterns in order to meet growing demand, arguing that we cannot produce our way out of the growing demand for food and must therefore change our current and projected consumption patterns.
The authors provide an overview of global food consumption trends; describe how significantly changing patterns in food consumption – worldwide – are having profound effects on health, the agroecological resource base and food security; examine the drivers behind these trends; and preview how the anticipated continuation of these trends will affect the ability of the world to feed itself sustainably. The paper provides illustrative case studies which demonstrate that unsustainable food consumption patterns are already leading to considerable detrimental effects, and concludes with key messages and offers a suite of suggested opportunities and actions, for both the public and the private sectors, that will address the challenges presented by unsustainable food consumption.
Download the paper here.