Skip to main content

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

I think the draft document ought to adapt a really holistic approach to resolving the problem. It is well understood that the possibility of adequate food production is closely linked to the well-being of our environment. Hence,  the committment to ensure an adequate supply of food to all can be successfully undertaken only if we ensure that neither the food production nor other economic activities result in environmental damage. This logical fact ought to be the point of departure of the document.

Secondly, ceteris paribus, how one satisfies one's nutritional needs depends on the culture of one's choice. Here, I use the term 'culture' in its widest sense as described by Bronislaw Malinowsky.

Now, food culture of a community evolves with reference to its geography, climatic conditions, communal beliefs, etc. Very often, the food culture of a community embodies wisdom of the ages in terms of nutritional adequacy, appropriateness of its food with respect to health of the consumers, climatic conditions, environmental sustainability, etc.

As we claim that people have a 'right to their chosen culture', and cultural norms may well embody the appropriateness of certain types of foods and their production both for man and to the place where they are produced, it would be reasonable  to include measures to preserve culinary diversity of the world. Moreover, this guarantees a healthy diversity of food crops and animals.

Finally, it is of paramount importance that FAO should pioneer food equity by actively working to remove activities such as commodity speculation, price fixing, monopolies such as those engaged in buying food for a whole country or a large region thereby dictating terms to food producers and consumers.