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Food and society

Building a better Planet in the Big Apple

February 2016, New York City played host to the spirited launch of the new book by BCFN Foundation: "Eating Planet. Food and Sustainability: Building our Future".

The event celebrated the release of the book’s Second Edition, and featured illuminating panel conversation from distinguished speakers and experts including Mr. Guido Barilla, chairman of the BCFN Foundation and the Barilla Company, Ms. Simran Preeti Sethi, a journalist and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change., Dr. David L. Katz, associate professor of public health practice at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Ms. Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues.

Three years after the first publication of the book, “Eating Planet” provides updates on the progresses made by BCFN and the global community towards encouraging diets that are both healthy and sustainable for the people and the planet.

In the spirit of the book’s recommendations for actions that policy makers, economic players and citizens of the world can take toward better food systems, guests from a wide-range of backgrounds, including local food journalists, food educators, and even celebrities in the food industry, were treated to the delightful tastes of the widely studied and recommended Mediterranean Diet provided by Barilla Restaurants in Manhattan.

Ironically, in the city globally known as the “Big Apple,” brightly decorated billboards in nearby Times Square displayed advertisements for the type of unhealthy and unsustainable food choices that constitute much of the Western Diet. This is just one example of the challenges facing food sustainability today. Thankfully, we can remain optimistic as experts and researchers from a range of multidisciplinary areas continue to provide analysis and concrete proposals on the major topics relating to food and nutrition.

Raising awareness about the issues at hand and providing research-based education on best-practices remains of the utmost importance. “Eating Planet” and the book launch in New York help bring much needed attention to the extremely complex issues of the global food systems, where cultural changes must coincide with important changes in food production and consumption patterns.

As the BCFN Foundation moves forward with turning ideas into action, and pursuing the ambitious goals set forth in Expo 2015, the Milan Protocol and the Youth Manifesto, young researchers and decision makers, and even future generations, will also continue to have important roles and ideas, contributing to progress toward the goals of food sustainability. After all, these are the people to whom we will leave the Planet we are now fighting to save.

Behtash Bahador
BCFN Foundation Alumni Association
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