Dietary diversity through biodiversity in food systems


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Dietary diversity through biodiversity in food systems - Bruce Cogill, Programme Leader, Diet Diversity for Nutrition and Health, Bioversity International. This presentation is based on one delivered at the Sackler Institute of Nutrition Science Conference, Academy of Sciences, New York on 26 March 2014.

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Dietary diversity through biodiversity in food systems

  1. 1. Dietary diversity through biodiversity in food systems Bruce Cogill, Ph.D. Bioversity International March 26th, 2014
  2. 2. 2 What is biodiversity? ‘The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems’ (UNEP 1995) Species interact at the physical and chemical level to make up ecosystems – forests, wetlands, etc. We speak of food systems, dietary patterns, diets, food groups, foods, nutrients etc.
  3. 3. 3 Contributes to ecosystems and forests Reduces pests and disease issues Builds markets and livelihoods Builds resilience to climate change Why biodiversity matters
  4. 4. 4 Ecosystem services Ecosystem services (also called environmental services or nature’s services) are benefits provided by ecosystems to humans, that contribute to making human life both possible and worth living Traditional ecosystem services include: o crop pollination o pest and disease control o nutrient dispersal and cycling o seed dispersal o crop pollination o carbon sequestration and climate regulation o waste decomposition and detoxification
  5. 5. 5 Biodiversity contribution to supporting ecosystem services Source: Scholes presentation (2010) o Food and nutrition security is the product of many variables o Ecosystems provide food, through landscapes and other supporting, regulating and provisioning services o The role of Econutrition: biodiversity + ecosystem services
  6. 6. 6 Diet variety loss o The world has over 50, 000 edible plants. Just three of them, rice, maize and wheat, provide 60 percent of the world's plant-derived food energy supply o Of these 50,000, only a few hundred contribute significantly to food supplies o Although there are over 10,000 species in the Gramineae family, few have been widely introduced into cultivation over the past 2 000 years o Cereals are high in carbohydrates so they do provide energy, have low to moderate protein but are low in micronutrients; often poor quality and over processed.
  7. 7. 7 Yields, prices or nutrient outputs Agricultural practices have been aimed at increasing production while decreasing costs -- Intensification Recently, preserving the environment has become a more prominent goal In 2012, CGIAR invested around 30% ($US213m) on rice, maize and wheat research program and around 1% ($US7.4m) on Dryland Cereals (sorghum, millets, barley, etc) Maximizing food quality and safety of farming systems has not been a primary objective of modern agriculture….
  8. 8. 8 Food systems, food environments and econutrition Interrelationships among nutrition, human health, agriculture and food production, environmental health , and economic production
  9. 9. Ecuador Sicily UK Chad 9
  10. 10. 10 Comparison of national overweight prevalence for females and males
  11. 11. 11 Why biodiversity and dietary diversity/nutrition? o Lack of clear definition of what is meant by biodiversity o Modelling is challenging with complex pathways and limited or different levels of data o Lots of studies associating environmental change and dietary diversity (e.g. trees) o Better examples of biodiversity and modelling risk at HH and ecosystem level Bioversity International/ P.Bordoni
  12. 12. 12 Causality - biodiversity and nutrition o Challenges in understanding the linkages, pathways and potential hypotheses we face to understand the role of biodiversity in human nutrition and health (Hough 2014) o Reductionist approach to nutrition with focus on single nutrients and foods (Hoffman 2003 and Burlingame 2004)
  13. 13. 13 o Rely on anecdotal and individual studies lack the epidemiological or ecological evidence to link biodiversity and health o The needs for “holism” combined with the reductionist approach is much needed o ‘Whole of Diet’ approach rather than a ‘nutrient by nutrient’ or ‘single food approach’ o This relies heavily on better frameworks and tools drawing from the systems research and complexity science o More challenging to do and communicate but necessary if we are to climb out of the reductionist hole….. Causality - biodiversity and nutrition cont....
  14. 14. 14 Diversity = nutritional adequacy o Dietary guidelines (WHO, national (Nordic, Brazil), corporate (Barilla), academic and NGO (Livewell Plate, WWF) o Dietary diversity measure is a proxy for micronutrient intake and diet quality (Arimond and Ruel 2004; Kennedy et al. 2007; Rah et al. 2010; Savy et al. 2008, etc.) o Epidemiological studies link dietary diversity to health nutrition outcomes (many studies) o Biodiversity and dietary diversity less clear (see Tree cover and Dietary Diversity, Ickowitz et al. 2013) o There was a recent study of Food Consumption Scores and Conflict in Cote d’Ivoire
  15. 15. 15 o Beneficial effects in protecting against chronic disease and mortality o Inversely associated with: all-cause mortality cardiovascular disease risk factors hypertension colon cancer rectal cancer bladder cancer gastric cancer oral and pharyngeal cancer, and squamous cell cancer of the esophagus o Studies found no significant association between total dietary diversity and Type 2 Diabetes, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and breast cancer Dietary diversity – at the whole diet level has been found to be associated with: BioversityInternationalM.Tagliaferri
  16. 16. Individual choices Nutrition and health outcomes Nutrient interactions Morbidity Water & Sanitation …. Accessibility Culture 16 Environment & lifestyle
  17. 17. 17 Biodiversity Good nutrition and health Cultural Identitiy Food taboos Income Knowledge Barriers Incentives Value chains Markets Values Morbidity housing Water and sanitation Nutrient interactions Anti-nutrients Etc… Policies Can the consumer demand for nutritious and healthy foods stimulate biodiversity conservation ?
  18. 18. 18 Supple- ments Nutrient Dense/Therapeutic Fortification Staple Foods Oils Biofortification of Staple Foods Food, diet diversity and quality based solutions Treating and preventing under and overnutrition – from pills to improved diet and livelihoods September 2013 Nutrition Marketing Diversity Programme, Bioversity International
  19. 19. 19 Bananas and beta-carotene Cavendish Common Variety <5 µg/100g pro-Vit A carotenoid <8500 µg/100g pro-Vit A carotenoid South Pacific banana varieties Source: Burlingame, FAO (2013) and Bioversity International
  20. 20. 20 Diversity in bananas: Carotenoid content and in vitro bioaccessibility of East African banana-based dishes o Consumption of 200g (~ 2 fingers) of boiled EAHB and AAB plantains would meet at least 14% and 30% of Vit A Recommended Dietary Intakes of a child < 5years o The Musa fruit has potential of making substantial contribution to nutrition Ekesa et al. (2012). Bioaccessibility of provitamin A carotenoids in bananas (Musa spp.) and derived dishes in African countries. Food chemistry 133, 1471-1477. o Principal carotenoids in both raw and processed Musa fruit are trans beta carotene (t-BC), trans α-carotene (t- AC) o Pro Vitamin A Carotenoids in the boiled AAB-plantains and AAA-EAHB cultivars ranged from 357.6 to 2570.1 µg per 100 gram of fresh matter o In vitro bioacessibility of beta carotene in boiled AAA- EAHB and AAB plantains was 28.9% and 16.61% respectively
  21. 21. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd) Quinoa was an almost forgotten, ancient nutritious grain from the Andes Became quite popular in Western markets over the past 10 years But only very few of the 3000 existing varieties made it into (international) commercial circuits Quinoa, raw Rice, white, long grain, raw Corn, sweet, yellow, raw Wheat, hard red winter, raw energy (kcal) 368 365 86 327 protein 14,12 7,13 3,27 12,61 total lipid 6,07 0,66 1,35 1,54 carbohydrate 64,16 79,95 18,7 71,81 Essential Amino acids tryptophan 0,167 0,083 0,023 0,160 threonine 0,421 0,255 0,129 0,365 isoluecine 0,504 0,308 0,129 0,458 leucine 0,840 0,589 0,384 0,854 lysine 0,766 0,258 0,137 0,335 methionine 0,309 0,168 0,067 0,201 phenylalanine 0,593 0,381 0,150 0,592 valine 0,594 0,435 0,185 0,556 arginine 1,091 0,594 0,131 0,595 histidine 0,407 0,168 0,089 0,285 protein factor 4,000 3,820 2,440 3,590 Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26 Quinoa – a case of moving from niche to commodity
  22. 22. 22 Fork to Farm: A New Environmental and Agriculture Paradigm
  23. 23. 23 Whole of Diet approach o Triple burden of malnutrition => Whole of Diet approach o Populations need a diverse diet composed of cereals, tubers, roots, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, animal source foods incl insects to fully meet the multiple requirements in macro and micro nutrients for good nutrition and a healthy life o Cultural identity & biocultural heritage o Read DL Katz andS Meller “Can we say what diet is best for health?” Annual Review of Public Health 2014. 35:83-103 Ecosystems Species Genetics Proteins Vitamins Minerals Carbohydrates Lipids Anti-nutrients Anti-oxidants Pharmacologically active substances
  24. 24. o We need to climb out of the reductionist hole o A Whole of Diet Approach -- Foods are more than just the sum of nutrients, agricultural systems more than the sum of crops => whole of diet / landscape approaches are needed o Bioversity International and the CGIAR is working towards optimizing the use of the available biodiversity to provide quality diets, decent incomes and sustainable production systems while conserving biodiversity for future generations o We need better tools, such as linear programming, to identify nutrient gaps, and optimize the choices of foods across the seasons to close gaps Concluding observations I M.Tagliaferri Bioversity International
  25. 25. o Local populations often harbour a wealth of knowledge on biodiversity which in combination with good science can be leveraged to obtain alleviate poverty and conserve precious resources o Strong evidence of the importance of dietary diversity and dietary quality with links to both over and undernutrition and some diet related NCDs o Less evidence of links between biodiversity and dietary diversity. This is due to the lack of standard measures, data and the challenges of modellng complex systems. There are plenty of anecdotes and case studies but attribution remains a challenge o Given public, private sector and even some policy interest in the importance of diversity, especially given diet transition and rising diet related non communicable diseases, there is a strong need to: a) generate better evidence b) develop and get agreement around measurement of biodiversity c) look for opportunities to monitor policies and programmes that link biodiversity and nutrition, and d) engage with teaching and other aspects to improve training and capacity Concluding observations II
  26. 26. Bruce Cogill, Ph.D