The Future of Sustainable Nutrition
By: Anthony Hehir, Director, Nutrition Improvement
Addressing hidden hunger:
- 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. This issue is further compounded by the millions who suffer from so-called ‘hidden hunger’.
- Defined as a chronic deficiency in vitamins and minerals, the impact of hidden hunger on both individuals and wider society can be devastating.
- DSM spoke at this year’s Thought For Food Summit on the importance of ensuring the world’s population is not just fed, but nourished too.
With the global population set to increase by nearly 30 percent by 2050, overcoming the challenge of both feeding people sustainably and ensuring everyone receives adequate nutrition is increasingly critical. The sheer number of people who currently suffer from either hunger or hidden hunger highlights the significance of this issue.
Without good nutrition, we simply cannot achieve our potential as a human race. However, to make meaningful progress, we need to look again at what we mean by nutrition. It is not only food, but also vitamins and minerals, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, agricultural yields and sustainable practices, dietary diversity and climate impact. The subject is so incredibly complex, but until we redefine and reorganize our food system, we will struggle to improve nutrition worldwide.
Artificial intelligence, big data, smart phone access, and communication and new food technologies are already leading to fundamental shifts in the ways we live and work. These developments will inevitably help us advance our nutritional progress agenda in the future. We have, for instance, already seen the emergence of non-invasive technologies that can measure someone’s nutritional status. Access to this type of data will allow us to respond much faster to the needs of specific populations, so we can quickly see the impact of interventions and suggest any tweaks that need to be made.
A collaborative approach
To really make a difference and change the definition of what is possible, we –as an industry – need to ensure we are continuing to listen and collaborate wherever possible. By working in this way, we can discover promising new ideas, technologies and business models, all of which can help move nutrition forward for the benefit of everyone.
"Without good nutrition, we simply cannot achieve our potential as a human race."
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