End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

June 6, 2021

The unsustainable way in which we produce food causes 9 percent of the world's population to be hungry and 135 million people starve to death  while in the developed world, health problems related to a poor diet based on ultra-processed products are becoming increasingly widespread. In addition, intensive exploitation of vulnerable soils and ecosystems through mass livestock and agriculture degrade the land and the environment is the cause of fires, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity, all related to the current world pandemic.  There is also a strong correlation between climate change and nourishment since our current food system produces between 21% and 37% of global emissions and emissions linked to food waste account for 6% of global emissions .

Hunger and malnutrition are an obstacle to sustainable development, creating individuals who are less productive, more prone to disease and therefore often unable to earn more and improve their livelihoods - a trap from which people cannot easily escape. But food related issues are not only a problem for developing countries: in Europe, there are 950,000 deaths per year due to unhealthy diets and diseases related to unhealthy diets, such as cancer or cardiovascular problems, affect 2 billion people worldwide.

Therefore, it is evident that we need to rethink and improve world’s food systems to make it available and sustainable to everyone.

SDG 2 aims not only at ending hunger in all its forms, but also to achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

From an institutional and policy-making perspective, food security requires a multidimensional approach that includes social protection to ensure safe and nutritious food and the transformation of food production systems for a more inclusive and sustainable world. This implies investment in rural and urban areas and in social protection so that the poorest people have access to food without it being a barrier to achieving other educational and work-related goals  .

Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Therefore, better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.

On a personal level, we can make small changes in our lives to help achieve this goal. For instance, consume local and seasonal products, replace ultra-processed products (sweetened drinks, juices, precooked products, chips, sweetened cereals) with real food (fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, nuts, natural granola, natural dairy products, 90% cocoa). Plan your weekly menu and make a shopping list thinking about what you will "really" need so that no food (or money) is wasted, share your surplus food with local charity, stores or communities and freeze your food before it gets wasted.

Learn more:


  • United Nations World Food Programme (WFP): WFP Chief warns of hunger pandemic as COVID-19 spreads (Statement to UN Security Council) (2020)
  • IPCC: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change (2019)
  • United Nations: Zero hunger: why it matters? 2020