Learn about the Food System’s Vulnerabilities, Strengths, Future Needs during Virtual Workshop Hosted by National Academies, July 22-23

July 9th, 2020

Workshop graphicThe Food Forum, a group convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), invites interested academics, policy makers, industry personnel, and members of the public to a free virtual workshop, “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Building a More Sustainable, Resilient, Equitable and Nourishing Food System,” July 22-23, 2020.

The online event will explore the food system and its health, societal, economic and environmental impacts. It will also address future needs, with an emphasis on what the coronavirus pandemic has revealed about the current food system. Presenters will examine how diverse effects of the food system can be estimated, compared and accounted for when considering a new policy or emerging technology.

Matt Liebman, Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and a professor of agronomy, will moderate the introductory session on food system vulnerabilities. He is one of 11 members on the workshop’s planning committee that includes representatives of agencies, academia, businesses and nonprofits. Liebman also participated in a related NASEM committee and writing group that authored the 2015 report, A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System.   

The 1.5-day virtual workshop in July is free to all who register at NASEM’s event link. Workshop presenters will explore dimensions of the food system during three main sessions:

  1. Vulnerabilities of the Food System, July 22, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. (CDT)
  2. Resiliency of the Food System, July 22, 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. (CDT)
  3. Transformation of the Food System, July 23, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

According to Liebman, the workshop is geared towards professionals who work in various aspects of the food system but is open to all who are interested. The July workshop sessions will include opportunities for questions and answers, along with the presentations.

The roster of experts speaking will include former Iowa State professor of agronomy Ricardo Salvador, now director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Food and the Environment Program, also a member of the workshop planning committee. Former ISU professor of economics Catherine Kling, now faculty director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, will also be one of the presenters.

The workshop’s main objective is to further discussion and understanding of how to achieve a more resilient, safe, and accessible food system by 2050 that is environmentally and economically sustainable. NASEM plans to issue a proceedings from the event in the fall. 

Liebman recommends signing up as soon as possible as the list of registrants is growing quickly. The workshop will be recorded and available on the website for later viewing.  

About the Food Forum

The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Health and Medicine (NASEM) established the Food Forum in 1993 to convene scientists, administrators and policymakers from academia, government, industry and public sectors to discuss problems and issues related to food, food safety and regulation, and to identify possible approaches for addressing those problems and issues. It does not make recommendations but brings interested parties together to identify areas of concordance, compile information and develop options.