Jessica Fanzo, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the Institute of Human Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University in New York. She participated in the Feeding the World, Ethically working group meeting in Ranco, Italy in October 2014. Here is a brief interview as part of the Perspectives on Global Food Ethics blog series.



Can you briefly describe your related background and interest in food security?


I would say that my area of expertise focuses on the multi-sectoral and system approaches to ensure better nutrition and diets. The majority of my research is concentrated in three areas: (1) on the linkages between agriculture, water, and health to improve diversity and quality of maternal and young children’s diets, (2) the importance of regaining livelihoods in post-conflict regions through better nutrition governance and (3) the emerging area of equitable, sustainable diets. Most of my research and development practice has been focused in sub-Saharan Africa for a decade as well as Southeast and East Asia in the last five years.


In your opinion, what are the most pressing ethical issues in your domain related to global food security?


The most pressing ethical concerns in global food security are the inequitable access to nutrient dense, high quality foods and the dismantling of food systems due to instability and poor economic development. Whether food insecurity is due to conflict, income disparities or poor infrastructure, ensuring that the world eats well has many ethical concerns when we start to think about the potential solutions.


Can you share one issue or anecdote from the Feeding the World, Ethically meeting in Ranco that may have changed your perception on one ethical problem within food and nutrition security?


I think what changed my perception is that while solutions can be found; the solutions must engage many different stakeholders and their views and disciplines to get at all the facets to complex problems. We need more than just the agronomist, or the economist. We need lots of heads thinking and debating together to come up with thoughtful interventions.


What is your hope for making progress on this ethical problem?

My hope is that we have a package of multi-disciplinary solutions to present and pilot in a few localized settings and demonstrate that they can make an impact on food and nutrition security in both the short and long-term!


Global Food Ethics Project: Feeding the World Fairly

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