Nutrition & Food Security (System change is primordial)

Nutrition & Food Security (System change is primordial)

Food systems are changing, with growing reliance in many regions on inefficient supply chains and large-scale distribution systems that are both meeting and fueling changes in food demand and dietary preferences. While improving efficiency, the changing nature of food systems also creates new challenges and concerns regarding the high calorie and low nutritional value of many food items, access of small-scale producers to viable markets, high levels of food loss and waste, incidences of food safety, animal, and human health risks, and increased energy intensity and ecological footprints associated with the lengthening of food supply chains. 

TheBC.lab argues that, in order to properly understand the implications of these challenges for future food security and nutrition, they will need to be looked at from the perspective of food systems at large and will require the coordinated actions of a multitude of actors.

Our Food system is the culmination of a number of underlying systems: i) Economy, ii) Health, iii) Agriculture. We require more social innovation in our food systems.

Recent discussions specifically on the results of food security programs highlighted the need to pay attention to complex interactions between policy interventions and business innovation for improving nutrition outcomes.

TheBC.lab believes that this shift from linear approaches of food and nutrition security towards a more interlinked and nested analysis of food systems dynamics has profound implications for the design and organization of research and innovation processes. As part of our work, we outline our experience with interdisciplinary and interactive processes of food systems analysis at different scale levels, paying attention to three critical system interfaces: intersections with other systems, interactions within the food system, and incentives for food system innovations (the so-called: 3I approach). We lead efforts that bring to light the importance of these interfaces for leveraging food system adaptation and managing food system transformation.

We also provide illustrative examples of the relevance of food systems analysis for the identification of appropriate and effective programs for reinforcing the resilience, responsiveness and inclusiveness of novel food and nutrition programs.