Will there be enough food to sustain everyone when the global population increases from 7 billion to 9 billion by the year 2050? "Eating Planet" a book by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition takes a look at this important question by exploring the global issues related to food, nutrition and agriculture. (And yes, that is the same Barilla that makes pasta and sauce.)
The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition is a think tank dedicated to analyzing big food and nutrition issues worldwide. Their work goes beyond simply working to provide enough food sufficient for everyone to eat. The goal is provide enough healthy food grown in a sustainable manner that's also enjoyable for people to eat.
"Eating Planet" is an information-rich resource for anyone who wants to understand the issues and consider the steps the Barilla Center and international experts believe should be implemented to move toward sustainable, nutritious food for all, even as Earth's population increases.
"This is an important book," said contributor Danielle Nierenburg of Food Tank at the book launch in New York City. "It's dense and meaty in a million different ways."
She wasn't exaggerating. The book covers food security and the food paradox — that both the world's hungry and the world's obese suffer from malnutrition. It discusses food prices, water availability and the water footprint of different types of food, healthy eating, gender roles and the importance of women in the food system, fair wages for food workers across all systems, sustainable agriculture. It also recognizes that eating good food should be a pleasurable, convivial experience that can promote vitality and longevity.
Solving the problems that surround these issues isn't easy, and it can't be done by individuals alone. After presenting all the issues, the book ends with the Milan Protocol on Food and Nutrition, a proposal that suggests steps for governments and organizations to "combat food waste from field to fork; fight hunger and obesity, promoting healthy lifestyles from a young age; and encourage sustainable agriculture, battling financial speculation on raw materials."
As important as the book is for those who're trying to solve global food issues, many of us are simply trying to solve the household issue of putting healthy, sustainable food on the table. Barilla is working on that, too.
In addition to running a think tank that aims to solve the world's food issues, Barilla is continually working to find more sustainable ways to source the ingredients that go into the products it makes and sells. Barilla's sustainable farming initiatives include cultivating quality durum wheat for its pasta through the Sustainable Durum Wheat Project. Through the project they have found a method that reduces 30 percent of greenhouse gases while increasing production by 20 percent leading to more profits for farmers.
For the tomatoes that go into their sauces, Barilla sources 30,000 tons of sustainable tomatoes in Italy every year. In the United States, its working on identifying production process that can lead to better sustainability for the the 35,000 tons of California tomatoes it uses each year.