Opportunities and Challenges for Research on Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture in Europe
National academies of science have a long tradition of engaging widely to strengthen the evidence base to underpin the delivery of enhanced food and nutrition security at regional and national levels. EASAC, the European Academies Science Advisory Council, has produced this report for European audiences as a contribution to a project worldwide initiated by IAP, the InterAcademy Partnership, the global network of science academies. The IAP work brings together regional perspectives in parallel from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe on the opportunities for the science-policy interface, identifying how research can contribute to resolving challenges for agriculture, food systems and nutrition.
Our EASAC report combines analysis of the current status in Europe with exploration of ways forward. Overconsumption of calorie-dense foods leading to overweight and obesity creates a major public health problem in Europe but Europeans are not immune from other concerns about food and nutrition security and must also recognise the impact of their activities on the rest of the world. We define the goal of food and nutrition security as providing access for all to a healthy and affordable diet that is environmentally sustainable. We recognise the necessity to take account of diversity: in food systems and dietary intakes within and between countries, and in the variability of nutrient requirements in vulnerable groups within populations and across the individual's lifecycle.