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CABI Book Chapter

Sustainable diets: linking nutrition and food systems.

Book cover for Sustainable diets: linking nutrition and food systems.


This book takes a transdisciplinary approach and considers multisectoral actions, integrating health, agriculture, environment, economy, and socio-cultural issues, to comprehensively explore the topic of sustainable diets. Consideration is given to the multi-dimensional nature of diets and food systems, and the book explores the challenging issues connecting food security and nutrition to sustaina...

Chapter 8 (Page no: 79)

Can cities from the global South be the drivers of sustainable food systems?

Urbanization has been associated with significant transformations in our society, with paramount influence in agriculture and the world food industry, and subsequently in consumers' diets. Arguably, the current food consumption trend is non-sustainable given the non-regenerative, and rather disruptive, ways of using natural resources for meeting the growing food demand and the growing inequality for food affordability across regions. Cities have been an easy target to promote non-sustainable consumption, due to a lifestyle that encourages it and where 'convenience' is the prominent sought-after feature in food. Moreover, the food systems feeding urban populations need to be not only environmentally sustainable, but also socially and economically sustainable, and these pillars of sustainability are inextricably linked. It is within this context that this chapter asks: how can cities be drivers of food system sustainability? It specifically focuses on cities of the South due to their rapid urbanization and particular persistent challenges of poverty and food insecurity. Indeed, in cities of the global South, population in slums, where poverty is prevalent, constitute nearly four out ten of the total urban dwellers in developing countries, and as high as seven out of ten in African countries, revealing cities can no longer afford to treat slums as an excluded part or 'exception' to the rest of the city. We reviewed the global context and identify current opportunities that cities can exercise to drive what can be the sustainable food systems of the future. It is highlighted that social and environmental inclusion in city-linked food systems can be effectively articulated through: (i) participatory governance; (ii) solidarity schemes; (iii) inclusive value chain collaborations; and (iv) food system planning. Importantly, interventions in cities of the South require improved coherence given the inter-cross of jurisdictions of pertinent institutions, evidencing the need for a territorial approach where the different levels of government engage in dialogue.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Sustainable diets: a bundle of problems (not one) in search of answers. Author(s): Lang, T. Mason, P.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 13) Sustainable diets: the public health perspective. Author(s): Lawrence, M. Baker, P. Wingrove, K. Lindberg, R.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 22) The challenges of sustainable food systems where food security meets sustainability - what are countries doing? Author(s): Harper, M. Shepon, A. Ohad, N. Berry, E. M.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 32) Climate change and sustainable and healthy diets. Author(s): Pahlen, C. T. von der
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 42) Biodiversity loss: we need to move from uniformity to diversity. Author(s): Frison, E. A. Jacobs, N.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 53) Agroecology and nutrition: transformative possibilities and challenges. Author(s): Kerr, R. B. Rahmanian, M. Owoputi, I. Batello, C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 64) Indigenous food systems: contributions to sustainable food systems and sustainable diets. Author(s): Kuhnlein, H. Eme, P. Larrinoa, Y. F. de
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 89) Consumer-level food waste prevention and reduction towards sustainable diets. Author(s): Gaiani, S. Rolle, R. Bucatariu, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 99) Attaining a healthy and sustainable diet. Author(s): Fanzo, J. Swartz, H.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 113) Highlighting interlinkages between sustainable diets and sustainable food systems. Author(s): Meybeck, A. Gitz, V.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 121) Understanding the food environment: the role of practice theory and policy implications. Author(s): Mattioni, D. Galli, F. Brunori, G.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 131) Sustainable diets: social and cultural perspectives. Author(s): Medina, F. X. Aguilar, A.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 137) Nutritional indicators to assess the sustainability of the Mediterranean diet. Author(s): Donini, L. M. Dernini, S. Lairon, D. Serra-Majem, L. Amiot-Carlin, M. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 146) Assessing the environmental impact of diets. Author(s): Dooren, C. van
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 158) Sustainable diets and food-based dietary guidelines. Author(s): Jones, R. Vogliano, C. Burlingame, B.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 172) Costs and benefits of sustainable diets: impacts for the environment, society and public health nutrition. Author(s): Drewnowski, A.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 178) The One Planet Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme as a multistakeholder platform for a systemic approach. Author(s): Solon, M. M. Mink, P. Dernini, S. Bortoletti, M. Lomax, J.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 187) The Med Diet 4.0 framework: a multidimensional driver for revitalizing the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet model. Author(s): Dernini, S. Lairon, D. Berry, E. M. Brunori, G. Capone, R. Donini, L. M. Iannetta, M. Mattioni, D. Piscopo, S. Serra-Majem, L. Sonnino, A. Stefanova, M.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 199) Traditional foods at the epicentre of sustainable food systems. Author(s): Trichopoulou, A.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 204) Globally important agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS): a legacy for food and nutrition security. Author(s): Koohafkan, P.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 215) Sustainability along all value chains: exploring value chain interactions in sustainable food systems. Author(s): Loconto, A. M. Santacoloma, P. Rodríguez, R. A. Vandecandelaere, E. Tartanac, F.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 225) Sustainable and healthy gastronomy in Costa Rica: betting on sustainable diets. Author(s): Echandi, M. D. Masis, P. S. Viquez, R. G. Rodriguez, R. A.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 232) How organic food systems support sustainability of diets. Author(s): Kahl, J. Strassner, C. Bügel, S. Lairon, D. Paoletti, F.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 240) Institutional food procurement for promoting sustainable diets. Author(s): Tartanac, F. Swensson, L. F. J. Galante, A. P. Hunter, D.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 248) Renewing partnerships with non-state actors for sustainable diets through sustainable agriculture. Author(s): Ghosh, K.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 255) Decalogue of Gran Canaria for sustainable food and nutrition in the community. Author(s): Serra-Majem, L. Bartrina, J. A. Ortiz-Andrellucchi, A. Ruano-Rodriguez, C. González-Padilla, E. Dernini, S.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 261) Ten years to achieve transformational change: the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025. Author(s): Oenema, S.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 268) Towards a code of conduct for sustainable diets. Author(s): Burlingame, B.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Food Systems Strategic Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2019
  • ISBN
  • 9781786392848
  • Record Number
  • 20183377462