Improving Nutrition with Agricultural Biodiversity

Author: Bioversity International , 2011

While the positive relationship between biodiversity, dietary diversity and health seems clear but based on anecdotal evidence, there is a pressing need for this relationship to be confirmed based on empirical evidence. Solutions to addressing the growing challenge of global malnutrition depend on innovations in policy and practice. Historically, dietary interventions have focused primarily on protein and calories, later on minerals and vitamins, and most recently on functional and healthful properties of foods, such as anti-oxidants. In each of these cases, a focus on single components within foods has frequently neglected the foods themselves as they fit into a food system and socio-cultural context. One important component missing from many complementary strategies aimed at scaling up nutrition interventions is agricultural biodiversity, also called agrobiodiversity, which applies a food systems approach to intervention strategies.

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