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Better Food. Better World. is an initiative by the 2020 Nobel Peace Laureate, the United Nations World Food Programme, that challenges us all to think differently about food. In this six-episode series, author Elizabeth Nyamayaro asks the question “How do we ‘do’ food better?”, painting an audio picture of food systems around the world – from farm to plate – and of all the people involved in the process.

Episodes

Episode 2 - The ‘Top’ of the Food Chain – We’re Rich, Right?

the top of the food chain - we're rich, right?

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“Too much is not a good thing”

Every time we go to the grocery store, we are surrounded by a seemingly infinite bounty of food. We may choose a yogurt thinking it is a healthy option only to realize it has as much sugar as a doughnut. Surrounded by choice, children in America and around the world are not getting the nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong. 

In the second episode of Better Food. Better World., we talk about who is at the ‘top’ of the food chain and uncover the growing nutrition crisis raging from food deserts in the US to parts of Africa living on the edge of food security. Host Elizabeth Nyamayaro is in New York for this episode surrounded by an abundance of food choices. But this episode’s guests, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, Stephen Grimaldi, Executive Director of New York Common Pantry, and Lauren Bush Lauren Founder and CEO of FEED Project, reveal the truth about all of the choice: much of the food we eat lacks nutritional value. What’s worse, children and our climate are paying the price. Finally, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme challenges audience members at the UN Food Systems Summit with the question, “If we’re so rich, how come hunger still exists?” From the top of the food chain to the bottom, hunger is an ‘all of us’ issue. 

Key Moments

  • 3:35 - Elizabeth shares how an abundance of food choices shaped her childhood and her life in New York City.
  • 6.57 - Dr. Agnes Kalibata alerts listeners to the growing nutritional crisis and food deserts.
  • 10:55 - Elizabeth visits a leading New York food pantry and speaks with Stephen Grimaldi. 
  • 17:50 - Lauren Bush Lauren shares why she wanted to make a difference by giving children healthy food.
  • 29:20 - Exec. Director David Beasley's urgent call to action at the UN Food Systems Summit.

Selected Links:

https://www.wfp.org/

Listeners can support New York Common Pantry by donating or volunteering. More information on ways to get involved can be found on the "How to Help" section of their website at www.nycommonpantry.org.

Join the Conversation on Social Media:
#BetterFoodBetterWorld

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldFoodProgramme

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFP

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/world-food-programme

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Worldfoodprogramme/

Connect with Elizabeth and Our Guests:

Elizabeth Nyamayaro

Humanitarian and author of ‘I am a Girl From Africa’, Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the Special Advisor for the UN World Food Programme. Over the past two decades, she has worked at the forefront of global development and has held leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Women, and Merck. Her track record building and leading public-private partnerships is a key asset to WFP as it advocates for global solidarity to end world hunger.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/enyamayaro

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enyamayaro/

Dr. Agnes Kalibata

Dr. Kalibata is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit. With a distinguished track record as a policymaker, agricultural scientist, and intellectual, Dr. Kalibata is a past recipient of the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize. Dr. Kalibata has served as the President of AGRA, working with public and private partners to ensure food security in Africa, since 2014. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Agnes_Kalibata

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnes-kalibata-a38296122/

Stephen Grimaldi

After witnessing poverty as a child and experiencing poverty and food insecurity as a teenager, native New Yorker Stephen Grimaldi has made it his life’s work to create sustainable solutions to both poverty and food insecurity. Stephen is the Executive Director of New York Common Pantry, and was elected to the Food Bank for New York City’s Strategy Council in 2014.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NYCommonPantry

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nycommonpantry

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NYCommonPantry

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/company/new-york-common-pantry/

Lauren Bush Lauren

Mother, acclaimed former fashion designer and model, Lauren Bush Lauren founded the charity FEED in 2007 after travelling with the World Food Programme. Established to fight global childhood hunger, FEED collaborates with artisans from India to Kenya to create fashion collections and coffee products. Proceeds made from sales feed children and create sustainable incomes for the artisans that FEED works with. 

Facebook: https://facebook.com/laurenbushlauren

Instagram: https://instagram.com/laurenblauren

FEED

Facebook: https://facebook.com/feedprojects

Instagram: https://instagram.com/FEED

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FEEDprojects

David Beasley

The recipient of a Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in 2003, David Beasley is a former elected member of the great state of South Carolina’s House of Representatives and one of the youngest people ever elected to the position of Governor in South Carolina history. In 2017, Mr. Beasley was appointed Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) at the Under-Secretary-General level.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gov.beasley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFPChief

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-m-beasley-1319b3b

Episode 1 - Did You Know You Live in a Food System?

did you know you live in a food system

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“There is no such thing as cheap food.”

For some of us, a typical day’s diet could be oatmeal for breakfast, bean salad for lunch, and fish and chips for dinner. Little do we know, the oatmeal was farmed unethically with illegal pesticides, the beans came from a country suffering from drought and the fish came from a company that illegally overfished foreign waters, destroying a way of life for generations of local fishermen. Special Advisor for the UN World Food Programme, Elizabeth Nyamayaro grew up knowing hunger, despite a childhood filled with freshly picked mangos and cream straight from the goats – her family was badly affected by a drought driven by climate change devastating her village and crops.

In the premiere episode of, “Better Food. Better World”, Elizabeth shares her story and speaks with three leaders of the food security movement. The Father of Food Systems, Dr. Steven Were, gives us an overview of food systems. Chef Arthur Potts Dawson, star of The People’s Supermarket, challenges restauranteurs to educate their customers. Activist and poet Linda Gabriel stresses the importance of indigenous knowledge and shares a poem dedicated to her first food educator, her grandmother. Join us to learn why ‘Food is our greatest asset.’

Key Moments:

  • 0:52 - Intro to “Better Food. Better World” with Elizabeth Nyamayaro
  • 4:50 - Elizabeth shares her story of growing up, going hungry, and being saved by a UN worker.
  • 11:55 - Elizabeth introduces Dr. Were who defines food systems.
  • 17:04 - Elizabeth talks with Chef Arthur Potts Dawson and asks him about his favourite comfort food.
  • 19:12 - Arthur Potts Dawson challenges restaurants and markets to address the terrible crime of food waste. Elizabeth responds with a story about the origins of fish and chips.
  • 25:52 - Elizabeth talks with activist and poet Linda Gabriel who shares her discovery of the correlation between indigenous knowledge systems and permaculture.
  • 29:46 - Linda Gabriel shares a poem dedicated to her grandmother.

Selected Links:
https://www.wfp.org/

Join the Conversation on Social Media:
#BetterFoodBetterWorld

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldFoodProgramme

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFP

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/world-food-programme

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Worldfoodprogramme/

Connect with Elizabeth and Our Guests:

Elizabeth Nyamayaro:

Humanitarian and author of ‘I am a Girl From Africa’, Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the Special Advisor for the UN World Food Programme. Over the past two decades, she has worked at the forefront of global development and has held leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Women, and Merck. Her track record building and leading public-private partnerships is a key asset to WFP as it advocates for global solidarity to end world hunger.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/enyamayaro
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enyamayaro/

Dr. Steven Were Omamo:

Dr. Steven Were Omamo is widely considered the “Father of Food Systems.” He is the current Country Representative for Ethiopia, the largest operation for the UN World Food Programme. Past roles with UN WFP include Coordinator of Food Systems Strategy, Policy and Support, and Deputy Director of Policy and Programme at our Rome headquarters. In this inaugural episode, Dr. Omamo gives us a brief education on food systems.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/swomamo

Arthur Potts Dawson:

Celebrity chef Arthur Potts Dawson argues that “There is no such thing as cheap food.” We either pay a financial or environmental cost for food. He challenges restaurateurs and markets to educate their consumers, allowing them the opportunity to support local food producers with their wallets.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/arthurpottsd
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arthur_potts_dawson/

Linda Gabriel:

Poet and advocate Linda Gabriel stresses the importance of indigenous knowledge. While studying permaculture, she realized many of her classes taught knowledge her grandmother had already shared with her. This led Gabriel to seek further agricultural education from her elders. She leaves us with a poem dedicated to her grandmother.

Trailer

better food. better world.

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Better Food. Better World. is a United Nations World Food Programme initiative. WFP works across 88 countries to bring life-saving food to a hundred million people displaced by conflict, disasters, and climate change.  In a world, where 811 million people go to bed hungry every single night while enough food to feed 2 billion people is wasted every single year, this podcast challenges all of us to think differently about food.