Programme affiliate profiles
Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics and Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. She holds appointments in the Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves as the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program, and as Director of Food & Nutrition Security at Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal and leads on the development of the Food Systems Dashboard, in collaboration with GAIN. From 2017 to 2021, Fanzo served on the Food Systems Economic Commission, the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report, and the EAT-Lancet Commission. She was also the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. Before coming to Hopkins, she has also held positions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and College of Medicine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. In 2021, she published her first book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet? and co-wrote Global Food Systems, Diets, and Nutrition: Linking Science, Economics, and Policy.
What’s next for food safety assessments?See more
21/06 - 14:00Visit the agenda
Title of talk
From safe food to sustainable food systems
21/06 - 14:35
Abstract of talk
The world has many lessons on how food systems respond to shocks, be they, climate-related natural disasters, wide and fast spreading foodborne illnesses, and zoonotic spillover events that have led to pandemics. These shocks are costly in terms of finances, human and animal toll, and environmental instability. When a shock, such as a pandemic, impacts food systems, the consequences are immediate with potential long-term implications. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted actors in all parts of the food systems' decreasing production capacity, slowing, or limiting market access, limiting remittances as safety nets, lowering employment opportunities, and triggering unexpected medical costs. Deep global economic shocks caused by the pandemic will continue to affect the movement of cash and finance of producers and access of small and medium agri-businesses to financial institutions. High levels of unemployment, loss of income, and rising food costs are also making access to food difficult for many. Prices of basic foods have begun to rise in some countries at a time when people have less money in their pockets. Food price volatility also generates uncertainty. More food staples and unhealthier, highly processed foods that are cheaper and have longer shelf lives will be consumed because of price hikes and shortage and stock-out speculation. More nutritious foods are expensive, hard to come by, and perishable. The changes towards more sup-optimal dietary patterns impact the quality of diets and their contributing risk to longer-term chronic disease, with significant health, economic and societal costs. In the long-term, the COVID-19 health crisis will unwittingly use the food system as a catapult to have an even more significant impact on the global burden of disease. Also, in the long-term, there will be consequences of unfinished agendas. Climate change is one. Continued conflicts, climate change, more violent, less predictable natural disasters, and the massive burden of malnutrition - also known as a Syndemic-- that proceeded COVID-19 has been continuously undermining food security in many contexts. Agriculture and associated land-use change account for nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, making the sector the second biggest industrial emitter of greenhouse gases after the energy sector. Governments, researchers, and development practitioners must recognize that the health of people, animals and our shared environment are tightly interconnected. There is a need for a greater understanding of how our food system relates to climate change and the environment and how changes in ecosystems where animals live are driving the circulation of viral spread in real-time. Public health issues are environmental issues and taking a One Health approach to science, is critical to avoid future zoonotic spillovers. Governments should also not fall silent on global commitments and face inward. Instead, they should double down on how the pandemic could foster opportunities to re-engage and collaborate on issues such as climate change, sustainable development, ending hunger and resilient ecosystems and oceans that will require global cooperation.
Human nutrition on a finite planet: securing sustainable and healthy diets for allSee more
22/06 - 09:00Visit the agenda
Title of talk
Coming to grips with trade-offs in achieving human and planetary health in resource-constrained settings
22/06 - 09:45
Abstract of talk
In the context of the broad global trends of population growth, the climate crisis and inequitable diets, food systems need to be re-oriented to ensure they can produce enough food to nourish the world. At the same time, food systems must decrease the pressure on biodiversity loss, conserve land and water resources, minimise air and water pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The current COVID-19 pandemic has imposed an additional level of pressure on the governance, functionality, efficiency and resilience of food systems, with potentially long-lasting implications. This re-orientation includes moving towards on-farm sustainable food production practices, lessening food loss and waste, addressing poverty by creating jobs and decent livelihoods, and providing safe, affordable, and healthy diets for everyone. This is a lot to ask of an already entrenched system involving diverse actors with diverging priorities and motivations. Food policy is central to changing systems, and bold policies must be applied to accelerate and incentivise economic, societal, and technological transformations towards a more socially just and sustainable global food system. But policy decisions come with synergies, trade-offs, and short- and long-term, often unexpected consequences. In a world of uncertainty, can we have both human and planetary health – can we have it all? This seminar will explore that question through a global lens that takes the audience through a range of sticky debates that plague food system transformation and governance. In 2021, there were some critical global moments where food systems were discussed and debated at the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G). The international development community can argue whether these events successfully shifted the food policy agenda towards more action and positive transformation or not, but it was a moment. Let us not make this moment meaningless. Now is the time to accelerate, advocate and act on improving food systems for human health and the planet while respecting and supporting those who work, day-in and day-out, to feed us. It is all about the incentives. Examining the incentives and the trade-offs in making certain decisions will be critical to making in-roads to healthy and sustainable diets.