Dr. Mark Lyons spoke about the potential for rethinking the food chain at Alltech's 2011 Symposium. Should we be trying to meet the challenge of feeding the world or the higher challenge of nourishing the world? Almost a quarter of the people on the planet live below the poverty line and 840 million people are currently defined as malnourished. Lyons suggested that the number was actually much greater. "I believe that is a massive underestimation. I believe that 80% of the people on the planet are malnourished." Obesity rates have skyrocketed and we now have a new class of malnourished people - the malnourished obese.
"While parts of the world are struggling to feed their families other parts are struggling to overcome the impact of the poor food that they are consuming," said Lyons. The abundance of calorie rich and nutrient poor food has some calling for a food revolution. Lyons proposed that the agriculture and food industries embrace that movement instead of pushing back. Instead of waiting for the heavy hand of regulation we should use new scientific tools like nutrigenomics and programmed nutrition to produce high quality, nutrient dense food.
If we are to change the way we eat, where should that change come from? Consumers? Producers? Government?