April 16, 2015 | By

Healthy Food for a Healthy World: New Chicago Council Report on Leveraging the Food System to Fight Malnutrition

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ new report, Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition, was released today at the Global Food Security Symposium 2015 and calls on the United States to use the power of the agriculture and food sector to reduce the reality and risks of malnutrition globally.  Watch Symposium discussions live today on our website

Malnutrition – from undernourishment to obesity – is a global challenge affecting every country on earth and placing more than one quarter of the world’s population at serious health risk. Given that nutrition is driven largely by the food people eat, making nutrition a priority in developing our global food system could give billions more people access to the healthy foods they need to thrive, drive economic growth in poor countries, and increase the incomes of 2.5 billion small-scale farmers, many of whom are malnourished.

In light of these challenges and opportunities, the new report recommends that:
  • The US Congress commit to a long-term global food and nutrition strategy focused on agricultural development and convene a bipartisan Commission on how to tackle nutrition challenges globally.
  • The US government, in partnership with universities and research institutes, increase funding for nutrition research to expand access to nutrient-rich foods and address malnutrition.
  • The US draw on the strength of its research facilities and universities to train the next generation of agriculture, food, and nutrition leaders both here and in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Government and industry work together to support more efficient and wider delivery of healthy foods, especially through technologies that can reduce food waste and enhance food safety.
The bipartisan advisory group that produced the report was led by Catherine Bertini, distinguished fellow at The Chicago Council and former executive director of the UN World Food Program. The report was endorsed by a bipartisan group of 30 senior policy, business, scientific, and civil society leaders.
The Global Food Security Symposium draws more than 350 policymakers, corporate executives, scientists, and senior leaders from international and nongovernmental organizations to discuss the role of the agriculture and food sector in alleviating malnutrition. The event will be streamed live throughout the day, and speakers include:
  • Mitch E. Daniels, Jr., President, Purdue University; former Governor, Indiana
  • Julie Gichuru, Media Personality & Entrepreneur
  • Mark Hyman, Chairman, the Institute for Functional Medicine; Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
  • Robert H. Miller, Divisional Vice President, Research and Development, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition
  • Gregory R. Page, Executive Chairman, Cargill
  • Stefan Schmitz, Deputy Director-General and Commissioner, One World – No Hunger Initiative, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Symposium sponsors include Abbott and Cargill at the lead level, DuPont at the supporting level, and Land O’Lakes, Inc. and RTI International as Next Generation sponsors. Generous support for the Healthy Food for a Healthy World study was provided by Abbott at the lead level, National Dairy Council at the supporting level, and the Stuart Family Foundation. The report and Symposium are also supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The report signatories include:
  • Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, Global Agriculture & Food, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
  • Douglas Bereuter, President Emeritus, The Asia Foundation; Former Member, US House of Representatives
  • Ekin Birol, Head, Impact Research Unit, HarvestPlus, and Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Marshall Bouton, President Emeritus, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Howard W. Buffett, President, Buffett Farms Nebraska LLC
  • John Carlin, Visiting Professor and Executive-in-Residence, Kansas State University; Former Governor, Kansas
  • Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets and Food, World Wildlife Fund
  • Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Imperial College London
  • Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture and Director, Center for Global Food Security, Purdue University
  • Cutberto (Bert) Garza, University Professor, Boston College; Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Visiting Professor, George Washington University’s School of Public Health
  • Dan Glickman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture; Former Member, US House of Representatives; Vice President, The Aspen Institute; Senior Fellow, The Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Carl Hausmann, Former CEO, Bunge North America
  • Andrew Jones, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
  • A.G. Kawamura, Cochair, Solutions from the Land Dialogue
  • Mark E. Keenum, President, Mississippi State University
  • Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Professor Emerita of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children
  • Robert H. Miller, Divisional Vice President, R&D, Scientific & Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition
  • Namanga Ngongi, Chairperson, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership and Former President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
  • Thomas R. Pickering, Vice Chairman, Hills and Company
  • Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Graduate School Professor, Cornell University; Adjunct Professor, University of Copenhagen; Chair, High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition
  • Steven Radelet, Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development and Director of the Global Human Development Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Cynthia E. Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University
  • Navyn Salem, Founder, Edesia/Global Nutrition Solutions
  • Paul E. Schickler, President, DuPont Pioneer
  • Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO and Head of Mission, Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
  • Robert L. Thompson, Visiting Scholar, John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies; Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois
  • Ann M. Veneman, Former Executive Director, UN Children’s Fund; Former Secretary, US Department of Agriculture
  • Derek Yach, Executive Director, The Vitality Group


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

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Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


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