The EATxCali Forum brings together scientists and consumers from Latin America to talk about food, health, and nutrition. The EAT Initiative, CGIAR Consortium, and CIAT have organized this event based on their shared commitment to sustainable development.
More than half the world’s population live in urban areas and in Latin America, this share already exceeds 80%. Many urban people are poor and have limited access to healthy food at affordable prices. As a result, they suffer disproportionately from a double burden: On the one hand hunger and under-nutrition, and on the other, obesity caused by unhealthy foods. This has given rise to an epidemic of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Food systems are also a major contributor to ecosystem degradation and greenhouse gas emissions and are vulnerable to climate change, which threatens to reduce crop yields and disrupt entire food value chains.
However, transformative solutions to improve the livelihoods of the urban poor and protect the environment already exist. Sustainable agricultural practices can provide more and better food at a lower cost. Improved supply chains can reduce food waste, reverse land degradation and bring a string of other environmental benefits.
Appropriate, evidenced-based national dietary guidelines can send a strong policy signal to consumers and the food industry. To be effective, these and other interventions must be tailored to specific local contexts.
Making these changes happen requires a holistic transformation of food systems, based on a clear policy agenda that unites stakeholders throughout the food value chain from farmers to urban consumers.
EATxCali aims to do just that: It brings together representatives from academia, government, international agencies, businesses, and civil society to rebuild food systems and ensure that consumers have access to healthy and more sustainably produced food.