From rising rates of global hunger to plowed produce and empty grocery store shelves, the headlines from 2020 painted a bleak picture of the world’s food systems, laying bare vulnerabilities and inequities like never before. By the end of 2020, 137 million more people were expected to face acute food insecurity compared to pre-pandemic estimates, many for the first time. What’s more, Covid-19 is a tragic reminder of how poor diets and unequal access to good food put health and lives at risk – diet-related conditions have made people significantly more vulnerable to severe illness and death.

It can be hard to focus on the future in the midst of crisis, but it’s imperative that we do. Throughout history, moments like this one have catalyzed incredible periods of progress. There’s willingness to think outside the box, and energy to take action. As governments are making decisions about pandemic recovery packages and policies, and with planning for the UN Food Systems Summit underway, this is a critical time to embrace innovative ideas and chart an ambitious course toward a more nourishing, equitable, and sustainable food future.

Transforming food systems is no easy feat. The system and its failings are intricately linked with some of the toughest challenges of our time: climate change, poverty, misaligned and outdated policies. Narrowly targeted interventions will not bring about the kind of change we need. To achieve systems transformation, we need to think at the systems level. This means addressing the root causes, consequences, solutions, and interconnected challenges all at the same time.

Read the full article about food systems change by Sara Farley at Food Tank.