According to the director-general of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, integrated nutrition strategies are needed to address rapidly changing diets in many parts of the world, adding that urbanisation and increased wealth is having an adverse effect on the way people eat. Among possible solutions he stated that consumers need to be provided with better information on food, and that foodstuffs unique to particular geographical regions cannot be left out of the food-mix, favouring introduced crop species, or the flood of industrial scale, processed food products.
Changing diets in many areas are leaving out fundamental foods, leading to a decline in levels of nutrition. Graziano da Silva cited the example of quinoa, a grain-like pseudocereal which used to be widely cultivated in the Andes, which has recently been rediscovered for its high nutrition value in developed markets.
The head of FAO also stressed that farming practices respect the specific requirements of each individual region, calling for crops, techniques and technologies to be adapted to the local landscape rather than applied indiscriminately wherever land is available. “Soil, climate, water resources and other factors influence how technology will work”, he concluded.