The scourge of “hidden hunger” or micronutrient deficiency affects around two billion people worldwide who lack adequate intake of vitamins and minerals in their diet. While several international and regional initiatives are underway to combat malnutrition, and specifically micronutrient deficiency, these have largely focused on the approaches of nutrient supplementation and food fortification at the expense of dietary diversification, considered the most durable solution to hidden hunger. The development of nutritionally enhanced genetically engineered crops, such as “Golden Rice”, has further attracted controversy and raises serious biosafety concerns.
For a global strategy on nutrition to be successful, this book argues, it must place central emphasis on diversifying diets. Towards this end, sustainable farming practices based on agricultural biodiversity, such as agroecology, are key to providing the rich variety of foods that will keep hidden hunger at bay.