Food quality is more important than quantity, UN says

Food quality is more important than quantity, UN says

We've got plenty of wheat. A new UN report says agricultural investments shouldn't prioritize yield over quality. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/152693541/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Photo: Martin LaBar (Flickr)</a>
We've got plenty of wheat. A new UN report says agricultural investments shouldn't prioritize yield over quality. Photo: Martin LaBar (Flickr)

When it comes to global food security, more doesn't always mean better.

As the international community prepares for the UN's Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has released a report that criticizes what it sees as a singular focus on increasing farm yields. According to the report's contributors, the "more production" approach is straining the environment and natural resources, while contributing to a growing nutritional imbalance in which one billion of the world's people are overweight or obese and another one billion are undernourished.

Instead of pursuing policies that emphasize increased farm productivity at any cost, the report argues for more sustainable approaches to agricultural development that mitigate the effects of climate change and promote equal access to nutritious foods.

The report also warns of a possible conflict between public and private interests as large corporations play an increasingly dominant role in the global food system. It urges policymakers to focus on investments in small and medium farmers, which are seen as a more sustainable approach to strengthening food security.

Read the full report here.

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