It might sound impossible, but 51 countries are investing billions of dollars in subsidies on a yearly basis in order to support the production of food that is not necessarily considered nutritious. The reasons could be several. It is more convenient. It is suitable for massive production and it is far cheaper. This practice expands the gap between the food we should be eating and the one we produce and -at the same time- it leads many people to innutritious diets since a balance diet is not affordable due to the high cost of its ingredients. World Food Programme’s past report, has noted that if the 734 million people who live under the poverty line (US$1.90/day) would change their current diet to a nutritious one, food expenditures would increase up to 1000%. That would lead to a cost of US$300 billion which the poor should spend every year in order to support a nutritious diet. In fact, it is hard to believe it, but that the poorer the country, the higher the cost of a nutritious diet.
And that is how -all these years- we have come to a point where the food that does good for our health is a luxury whereas the one that it isn’t it is easily accessible and affordable as well, when -at the first place- it shouldn’t be legitimate at all!
The following picture will help you get an idea of all the above in just a glance. In these, you can see the food we should be eating according to the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate Model and what food the world is actually producing according to FAO 2011 estimates).
What could be the answer on this problem? Investing in Nutrition Smart Agriculture (NSmartAg) could help us achieve balance between a nutritious diet and a sustainable production as far as our health is concerned by improving people’s health and farmers’ livelihoods both at the same time. Last but not least, NSmartAg could also promote food security and environmental sustainability, while diminishing the percentage of malnutrition in developing countries.
Photo: Samarth Singhaifrom via Pexels.com
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