567. Nature Food: Innovation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains
An editorial featured in Nature Food on June 23 called for technological and political innovations to guarantee access that the world's population has a stable supply system of fruits and vegetables.
The article emphasized the importance of fruits and vegetables for the health of humanity and the planet. Accordingly, the WHO recommendation of 400 grams per day is based on evidence of their effectiveness in reducing the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. From an environmental impact perspective, a shift to a diet centered on plant-based foods is also beneficial, and the EAT-Lancet report recommends a daily intake of 500 g of fruits and vegetables for planetary health.
According to the article, it is estimated that the world produces 2 billion tons of fruits and vegetables each year, enough to meet the recommended intake of the world's population. However, half of all fruits and vegetables are lost or wasted, and the remaining available not enough to provide a healthy and sustainable diet for all people. Loss and waste in packaging and during transportation, emissions due to food miles, and climate change issues have become problems in global vegetable and fruit production and supply. Technological innovations such as digital agriculture, gene technology, vertical farming, and additive manufacturing are expected to provide options in transforming the supply chain. In addition to technological solutions, the political environment is also important.
Late last year, JIRCAS hosted an online symposium "Vegetables and Fruits - Research and Action Opportunities for Human and Planetary Health" in conjunction with the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit. The research potential of vegetables and fruits for health, development, and the environment were discussed during the symposium. https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/program/proc/blog/20211115
The presentations and discussions can be viewed on the JIRCAS YouTube channel.
Innovation in fruit and vegetable supply chains. Nat Food 3, 387–388 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00548-1
Contributors: SHIRATORI Sakiko and KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office), NAKASHIMA Kazuo (Director, Food Program), IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)