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Objective

While the rates of overweight and obesity are growing in low-, middle- and high-income countries due to overconsumption of calories and physical inactivity, persistent rates of micronutrient deficiencies exist across many populations. These growing public health challenges require unique interventions across many settings. The ILSI Research Foundation is committed to improving nutrition and health through cross-disciplinary research, with a particular focus on improving the accessibility of food composition and dietary intake data, open data and methods harmonization, and the drivers of food choice.

Collaborators & Partners

Crop Composition Working Group, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, University of Florida, International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services, and Washington State University

Current Programs

The ILSI Research Foundation's active programs related to sustainable nutrition security include:

Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities

The ILSI Research Foundation is co-leading a project that will help the US maintain a nutritious, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-sound food supply.

Crop Composition Database

The ILSI Rese.arch Foundation’s CCDB is a curated, open resource that provides data on the natural variability in the nutritional composition (e.g., nutrients, anti-nutrients, and secondary metabolites) of key crop species.

World Nutrient Databases for Dietary Studies

The ILSI Research Foundation has compiled a catalogue of national, regional, and international food composition databases used for dietary assessments. This interactive, online resource is available to the public.

Past Work

The ILSI Research Foundation's concluded projects in the area of sustainable nutrition security include:

Resources

Filter

Plant Biologicals Network Symposium 2019

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Morven McLean, ILSI Research Foundation Executive Director, delivered the keynote presentation at the 2019 Plant Biologicals Network Symposium. 

Read more

Next-Generation Food Shock Modeling

Aspen, CO, USA

Co-sponsored by the ILSI Research Foundation and organized by the Aspen Global Change Institute, this workshop facilitated transformational change by bringing together experts from multiple fields to advance next-generation tools and decision support systems that confront current and future challenges to food security and improved nutrition.

Read more

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									Overview			
					
					
				Overview
							

The vast majority of Americans now live their lives almost entirely detached from agriculture and the realities of food production, rendering them increasingly susceptible to urban folklore and myths about so-called "sustainable food." Fruits and vegetables are an important class of foods for which an entire mythology around sustainability has developed. Organized by the Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities project, this breakout session at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit addressed many of those myths through a creative presentation of the findings generated by a highly interdisciplinary research team, which is now two years into a four-year effort.

Description

Americans are encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, and they have come to accept as true many tenuous precepts about the sustainability of fruit and vegetable food systems (e.g., local means more sustainable, water use is high and getting worse, organic is healthier, etc.). Another assertion often heard is that both climate change and decreased availability of irrigation water will make it increasingly difficult to meet future fruit and vegetable demand. However, industry stakeholders report that relatively minor management practice changes have so far been sufficient to adapt to these challenges. These same stakeholders report that the significant innovation and transformation of fruit and vegetable supply chains now underway is actually dominated by primarily socioeconomic considerations: consumer preference for fresh produce grown locally, increased competition for natural resources, cost and availability of labor, efforts to improve sustainability profiles, and the rise of protected and peri-urban production.

But what about the future?

Our highly interdisciplinary research team is now two years into a first-ever four-year, USDA NIFA-funded effort to explore climate adaptation and mitigation opportunities in U.S. fruit and vegetable supply chains, through the application of a novel integrated modeling framework that includes crop, economic, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models. During this breakout session at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit, we employed a creative approach, in which we first presented and then "busted" a series of "myths" about the sustainability of fruit and vegetable supply chains.

Learning Objectives
  1. Upon completion, participants were able to articulate and utilize accurate information concerning the factors (primarily socioeconomic in nature) that are most responsible for ongoing changes in fruit and vegetable supply chains.
  2. Upon completion, participants were able to respond in a fully-informed manner to how continuing changes in climate patterns and irrigation water availability are expected to impact fruit and vegetable supply chains.
  3. Upon completion, participants were able to pursue opportunities for expansion of domestic fruit and vegetable production in areas with high yields and favorable sustainability profiles.
  4. Upon completion, participants were able to address the fruit and vegetable supply chain steps having the largest impact on overall environmental footprints (land, water, and GHGs).

Speakers

Dr. Dave Gustafson,
ILSI Research Foundation
Expand

Dr. Dave Gustafson is an independent scientist who uses modeling to help food systems meet human nutrition needs in more sustainable ways. His academic training was in chemical engineering (Stanford, B.S., 1980; University of Washington, Ph.D., 1983). He worked for 30 years in private industry (Shell, Rhône-Poulenc, and Monsanto), and then served at the ILSI Research Foundation as Director of the Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Security (CIMSANS) through 2016. Dave’s early career focused on predicting agricultural impacts on water quality. He subsequently developed new modeling approaches to pollen-mediated gene flow and the population genetics of insect and weed resistance. Beginning in 2007, Dave began leading efforts to understand climate adaptation and mitigation imperatives in the global agri-food system. He has served on various national and international teams looking at this issue, including the Executive Secretariat of the US Government’s National Climate Assessment Development & Advisory Committee (2011-2014).

Dr. Kaiyu Guan,
University of Illinois
Expand

Dr. Kaiyu Guan is an Assistant Professor in ecohydrology and geoinformatics in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), with a joint appointment as a Blue Waters professor affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Before joining UIUC, he was a post-doctoral scholar working with Prof. David Lobell in the Center of Food Security and the Environment and Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University, where he researched climate change impacts and adaptations on crop production and food security in West Africa and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he studied how hydrological variability impacts vegetation dynamics (vegetation phenology, ecosystem productivity, and biome distributions) in the African continent using multiple remote sensing datasets and ecosystem/land surface models (e.g. SEIB and VIC).

Dr. Greg Thoma,
University of Arkansas
Expand

Dr. Greg Thoma served as director for research and is currently senior advisor to The Sustainability Consortium, a joint effort of the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University, with a membership of over 90 national and multinational corporations, governmental organizations, and NGOs. The Consortium is focused on measuring and improving the sustainability of consumer goods, including food. He has represented the Sustainability Consortium on the United Nations Environment Program/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Lifecycle Initiative board of directors, assisting in coordination of international efforts to mainstream life cycle management in the consumer goods sector. He has been on the faculty at the University of Arkansas since receiving his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1994 from Louisiana State University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Arkansas. He has held the Ray C. Adam Chair in Chemical Engineering and is currently the Bates Teaching Professor in Chemical Engineering.

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The agricultural sector will face a number of challenges in the years to come. Climate change will bring changing or fluctuating growth conditions and introduce new plant diseases and pests. Therefore, research in plant resilience and health, pest and disease control, and sustainable agriculture are vital. New agricultural technologies are needed, and plant biologicals can be part of the solution if new methods and products are developed and tested to ensure efficacy.

At the 2019 Plant Biologicals Network Symposium, different areas where biologicals might help to solve the global challenges that agriculture is currently facing were explored. Dr. Morven McLean, ILSI Research Foundation Executive Director, delivered the keynote presentation on how biology-based technologies can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Visit the Plant Biologicals Network website to learn more about the 2019 Plant Biologicals Network Symposium, view session descriptions, and access the agenda

 

Abstract

How Biology-Based Technologies Can Contribute to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Morven A. McLean, Ph.D., ILSI Research Foundation, USA

When we look at the social, economic and environmental impacts of climate volatility and extreme weather events, it’s clear that transformation of our agricultural systems is both a societal and environmental imperative.  How can we sustainably increase agricultural production and improve food and nutrition security for populations around the world, and particularly in those areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change?

Innovations in plant biologicals product development make clear there is a significant role for their application in addressing these challenges.  However, realizing the benefits of biologicals for sustainable agricultural production requires an enabling policy environment and a predictable and transparent path to commercialization.  Regulation, when considered necessary, should be properly contextualized and commensurate with plausible risks, so that moving from product development to deployment at scale is achievable by public and private sector institutions alike.  This presentation will explore the promise of plant biologicals to helping achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life on Land.  It will also consider some lessons learned from the regulation of genetically engineered organisms, where asynchronous approaches to risk assessment, regulation and decision-making have constrained innovation and contributed to trade disruptions, and how these experiences may be instructive as more plant biologicals move to market.

Social Media

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By Invitation Only

About Agenda Photos About

The 3rd Annual Workshop for the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains project took place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on July 10-11, 2019. Workshop participants included scientists and extension specialists from the University of Florida, ILSI Research Foundation, Washington State University, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, and World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES).

Co-led by the University of Florida and ILSI Research Foundation, the multi-organization team was awarded a four-year grant by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) in 2017. The team uses various forms of modeling to study US fruit and vegetable supply chains, with a focus on climate adaptation and mitigation opportunities.

Learn more about the project here!

Agenda

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Integrated Paper Update
Dr. Greg Thoma, University of Arkansas
Dr. Dave Gustafson, ILSI Research Foundation Downscaling of Future Irrigation Water Availability
Dr. Kirti Rajagopalan, Washington State University
Dr. Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas Updates from the Extension Teams
Dr. Kirti Rajagopalan, Washington State University
Dr. Clyde Fraisse, University of Florida Economic and Land Use Change Modeling Update
Dr. John Kruse, World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services
Dr. Pon Intarapapong, World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services Advisory Committee Teleconference
All Guided Tour of FACE Field Site
Dr. Don Ort, University of Illinois

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Updates from the Crop Modeling Teams
Dr. Kaiyu Guan, University of Illinois
Dr. Claudio Stöckle, Washington State University
Dr. Senthold Asseng, University of Florida Hydrology Modeling Update
Dr. Kirti Rajagopalan, Washington State University
Dr. Claudio Stöckle, Washington State University
Life-Cycle Assessment Modeling Update
Dr. Greg Thoma, University of Arkansas
Dr. Ranjan Parajuli, University of Arkansas Stakeholder Engagement Update
Dr. Dave Gustafson, ILSI Research and Foundation Current/Future IMPACT Model Development Plans of Potential Relevance to the Project
Mr. Tim Sulser, IFPRI
Dr. Ricky Robertson, IFPRI Publication Strategy
Dr. Senthold Asseng, University of Florida
Dr. Dave Gustafson, ILSI Research Foundation Project Evaluation 
Dr. Senthold Asseng, University of Florida
Dr. Dave Gustafson, ILSI Research Foundation Proposal Strategies 
Dr. Senthold Asseng, University of Florida Project Schedule and Additional Crops
Dr. Senthold Asseng, University of Florida
Dr. Dave Gustafson, ILSI Research Foundation Action Items, Assignments, and Due Dates
Ms. Layla Tarar, ILSI Research Foundation Photos

Participants from the Project

Senthold

Dr. Senthold Asseng

University of Florida

Clyde

Dr. Clyde Fraisse

University of Florida

Kaiyu

Dr. Kaiyu Guan

University of Illinois

Dave Gustafson

Dr. Dave Gustafson

ILSI Research Foundation

Gerrit Hoogenboom (UFL)

Dr. Gerrit Hoogenboom

University of Florida

John

Dr. John Kruse

WAEES

Marty

Dr. Marty Matlock

University of Arkansas

Staff_Mclean_updated

Dr. Morven McLean

ILSI Research Foundation

Ranjan Parajuli

Dr. Ranjan Parajuli

University of Arkansas

Kirti

Dr. Kirti Rajagopalan

Washington State University

Ricky

Dr. Ricky Robertson

IFPRI

Washington State University

Dr. Claudio Stöckle

Washington State University

Tim_edited

Mr. Tim Sulser

IFPRI

ILSI Research Foundation Staff Layla Tarar

Ms. Layla Tarar

ILSI Research Foundation

Greg

Dr. Greg Thoma

University of Arkansas

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Seven Food System Metrics of Sustainable Nutrition Security

Sustainability considerations have been absent from most food security assessments conducted to date, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change.

Read more

¡Miranos! (Look at Us! We Are Healthy!): Home-Based and Parent Peer-Led Childhood Obesity Prevention

Parent interventions for childhood obesity prevention have traditionally experienced low participation rates or used passive methods such as newsletters. In contrast, the ¡Miranos! intervention home-based activities included parent-led face-to-face meetings delivered after school, take-home bags with educational materials, and scavenger hunt games to deliver health information to Head Start families regarding nutrition, physical activity, and healthy growth promotion for their preschooler.

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DOI: 10.3390/su8030196

Background: The world faces an escalating challenge to meet accelerating demand for sustainably-produced, nutritious food in the face of human population pressure, resource scarcity, ecosystem degradation, and climate change. As the ambitious Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) give way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), about 795 million people globally are still without sufficient calories and at least two billion lack sufficient nutrients.  The ILSI Research Foundation has developed and published a new paper giving a unique set of metrics for measuring food system performance.  The metrics make it possible to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Abstract: Sustainability considerations have been absent from most food security assessments conducted to date, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change. In addition, previous food security work has generally focused only on achieving adequate calories, rather than addressing dietary diversity and micronutrient adequacy, both of which are critical to maintaining a healthy overall nutritional status. In response to the limitations of previous assessments, a new methodology is proposed here based on the concept of “sustainable nutrition security” (SNS). This novel assessment methodology is intended to remedy both kinds of deficiencies in the previous work by defining seven metrics, each based on a combination of multiple indicators, for use in characterizing sustainable nutrition outcomes of food systems: (1) food nutrient adequacy; (2) ecosystem stability; (3) food affordability and availability; (4) sociocultural wellbeing; (5) food safety; (6) resilience; and (7) waste and loss reduction. Each of the metrics comprises multiple indicators that are combined to derive an overall score (0–100). A novel SNS assessment methodology based on these metrics can be deployed by decision-makers and investors to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Download the journal article here.

Resources

Download the metric paper news release here.

Download the 7 food system metrics of sustainable nutrition security infographic available in English or Spanish.

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