Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity

Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity

Directions and solutions for policy, research and action

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2012


This book presents the current state of thought on the common path of sustainable diets and biodiversity and addresses the linkages among agriculture, health, the environment and food industries.
The alarming pace of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and their negative impact on poverty and health makes a compelling case for re-examining food systems and diets. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop and promote strategies for sustainable diets, emphasizing the positive role of food biodiversity in human nutrition and poverty alleviation.
Sustainable Diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.
The contents of this book represent the presentations given at the International Scientific Symposium on Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets, organized by FAO and Bioversity International and held at FAO, Rome, from 3 to 5 November 2010.

Table of Contents

Opening Adresses
Keynote Paper

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Chapter 1: Sustainable diets and biodiversity

  • Biodiversity and sustainable nutrition with a food-based approach
  • Biodiversity, nutrition and human well-being in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Ensuring agriculture biodiversity and nutrition remain central to addressing the MDG1 hunger target


Chapter 2: Sustainable food production and consumption

  • Dynamic conservation of globally important agricultural heritage systems: for a sustainable agriculture and rural development
  • Sustainable crop production intensification
  • Sustainability and diversity along the food chain
  • Animal genetic diversity and sustainable diets
  • Aquatic biodiversity for sustainable diets: The role of aquatic foods in food and nutrition security
  • Dietary behaviours and pratices: Determinants, actions, outcomes
  • Conservation of plant biodiversity for sustainable diets

Chapter 3: Case studies: bringing biodiversity to the plate

  • Biodiversity and sustainability of indigenous peoples' foods and diets
  • Revisiting the vitamin A fiasco: Going local in Micronesia
  • Exploring new metrics: Nutritional diversity of cropping systems
  • Nutrient diversity within rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L) from India
  • Canarium odontophyllum Miq.: An underutilized fruit for human nutrition and sustainable diets
  • Improved management, increased culture and consumption of small fish species can improve diets of the rural poor
  • Traditional food systems in assuring food security in Nigeria
  • Edible insects in eastern and southern Africa: Challenges and opportunities
  • Bioactive non-nutrient components in indigenous African vegetables
  • Achievements in biodiversity in relation to food composition in Latin America

Chapter 4: An example of a sustainable diet: the Mediterranean diet

  • Biocultural diversity and the Mediterranean diet
  • Sustainability of the food chain from field to plate: The case of the Mediterranean diet
  • Biodiversity and local food products in Italy
  • Organic farming: Sustainability, biodiversity and diets
  • Mediterranean diet: An integrated view
  • Food and energy: A sustainable approach
  • Double Pyramid: Healthy food for people, sustainable food for the planet

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

E-ISBN 978-92-5-107288-2 (PDF)

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