The U.S. BCFN branch will follow the lead of the Italian BCFN, using a multi-disciplinary, think tank approach to analyze economic, scientific, social and environmental factors in terms of their cause-and-effect relationship on food, nutrition, environment and food security. The fruits of the analyses will result in scientific publications, recommendations, presentations to governmental bodies and open debate with the public at large.
The BCFN Advisory Board is comprised of Barbara Buchner, director of the Climate Policy Initiative in Venice; Mario Monti, economist; John Reilly, economist; Gabriele Riccardi, endocrinologist; Camillo Ricordi, scientist, University of Miami; Claude Fischler, sociologist; and Umberto Veronesi, oncologist.
The announcement about the U.S. BCFN was made last month at BCFN’s Healthy Food, Healthy Planted conference, which was held jointly with the National Journal in Washington DC. The conference also assembled a panel of experts who discussed paradigms for ensuring a future of both healthy food and healthy planet, noting that in order to satisfy the world’s food needs, production will need to grow 70-100% in the face of environmental changes, a destabilized agri-foods market and continued global economic turmoil. Questions of sustainability, malnutrition, food security and environmental impact were at the forefront of the debate.
The panel, which included food policy makers and members of environmental and sustainable food industries, also explored the steps being taken to protect the environment as it relates to food production, how the public and private sectors are working together to lower the impact of food production on the environment, and how the U.S. can implement policy and legislation that address those issues.
“While we cannot stop the continuing evolution of the planet, we have the moral duty to suggest courses of action and propose policies that encourage responsible interaction with it. Food and nutrition will be an increasingly important focus in dialogues among governments, corporations and civil society, all of which are working to address the immediate and future challenges we face in meeting nutritional needs of a growing population while ensuring the health of our planet,” commented Guido Barilla, president of the BCFN. “We understand what it takes to bring food from the farm to the table in an efficient and sustainable way, as well as the importance of developing environmentally sustainable production models. We are committed to bringing the world’s best and brightest minds together to provide guidance on how to effectively navigate these complex topics.”
Following its analysis of the cause and effect relationship of the global food supply with economic, scientific, social and environmental factors, BCFN developed a forward-thinking study titled “Double Pyramid: Healthy Food for People, Sustainable Food for the Planet,” which found that foods with higher recommended consumption levels are also those with lower environmental impact.
John Reilly, co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Center for Environmental Policy Research, and the latest member to be added to BCFN’s advisory board, said the event marked another step in BCFN’s commitment to “increase understanding of the complex interactions between society and our planet, particularly in the area of food production and consumption. Through discussions like this, we can support the design of policies that limit negative environmental impacts and establish large-scale food systems that meet the needs of people around the world.”
BCFN will hold its third International Forum on Food and Nutrition on November 30 and December 1 in Milan, where a panel of international experts will discuss the future of biotechnology, access to food, sustainable diet and the relationship between food and longevity. The Forum will also mark the debut of what BCFN has termed “a new scientific journal.
“The Forum,” Guido Barilla explained, “helps to increase the awareness of the existing situation with regard to nutrition. Companies can no longer disregard the emergencies the world faces everyday such as global food issues. Our hope is that this new approach will lead to the political choices and actions needed to build a better world.”
Among the speakers, together with the BCFN Advisory Board members, there will be Carlo Petrini, Dominick Salvatore, Marion Nestle, Hans Herren, Lucio Caracciolo, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Jamais Cascio, as well as Mr. Reilly.