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  • The dietary and health impacts of ultra-processed foods can be understood across the nutri-biochemical, food and dietary pattern levels. Each level reveals distinct dimensions and characteristics that can inform our scientific analysis and policy responses accordingly.

    • Gyorgy Scrinis
    • Carlos Monteiro
  • The practice by which international actors consider and engage with negotiations that influence the food system — food systems diplomacy — has the potential to reframe the global food governance narrative to balance the health, social, environmental and economic domains of food systems.

    • Divya Himangi Garg
    • Marie L. Spiker
    • Jennifer J. Otten
  • Few microbiome-based solutions for agricultural productivity, food processing and human nutrition have been successfully commercialized. A systems-based approach that considers the ecology of microbial communities may help finetune extant tools to increase their reliability while promoting innovation and greater adoption.

    • Stephanie D. Jurburg
    • Nico Eisenhauer
    • Brajesh K. Singh
  • The Ukraine–Russia war will impact global food security over months if not years. In the wake of COVID-19 and in the face of increasing climate change, we propose responses to a multi-layered global food crisis that mitigate near-term food security risks, stabilize wheat supplies and transition towards long-term agri-food system resilience.

    • Alison R. Bentley
    • Jason Donovan
    • Bram Govaerts
  • The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without a transformation towards equitable livelihoods. Governments and businesses have an onus to protect and improve the livelihoods of people living in vulnerable situations by creating innovative institutions, policies and investments.

    • Jikun Huang
    • Lynnette M. Neufeld
    • Lisa S. Forsse
  • The framing of global food challenges as a matter of producing enough protein deserves critical assessment. We argue that powerful actors in the food system are responding to this apparent protein shortage in a way that deflects from the critical environmental and social challenges associated with conventional livestock production.

    • Julie Guthman
    • Michaelanne Butler
    • Charlotte Biltekoff
  • Governing food-system transitions requires innovation in the study of impacts and futures. Current approaches to impact assessment require greater complexity in systems modelling and complementation with alternative mechanisms to overcome limitations in scoping, conceptual assumptions and methodologies.

    • Jeroen Candel
  • Pesticide-centred crop protection is highly carbon-intensive, with product synthesis, distribution and field application generating up to 136.6 MtCO2 equivalent per year. Carbon financing offers an opportunity to bring more natural and sustainable alternatives to scale.

    • Kris A. G. Wyckhuys
    • Michael J. Furlong
    • Yubak D. GC
  • Over the last 70 years in Brazil, the sanitary inspection of animal-source food (ASF) has been used as groundwork to impose trade barriers on smallholder farmers and small-scale producers. The adoption of exclusive ASF legislation has propagated an informal sector in which food safety is not guaranteed, structural inequalities are kept and regional development is impaired.

    • Naaman Francisco Nogueira Silva
    • Davi Augusto Santana de Lelis
    • Antônio Fernandes de Carvalho
  • Effective interfaces of knowledge and policy are critical for food system transformation. Here, an expert group assembled to explore research needs towards a safe and just food system put forward principles to guide relations between society, science, knowledge, policy and politics.

    • Jessica Duncan
    • Fabrice DeClerck
    • Gianluca Brunori
  • Aquaculture must grow above the current rate of 11% per year to meet projected demand and reduce dependence on seafood imports. Government support and private investment are urgently needed for sustainable growth.

    • Catherine Ragasa
    • Harrison Charo-Karisa
    • Kelvin Mashisia Shikuku
  • Capacity-enhancing fishery subsidies provided by emerging economies are supporting overfishing in the high seas and in the national exclusive economic zones of other states. Action must be taken to avoid detrimental impacts on livelihoods and food security across the Global South — before global fish stocks are depleted.

    • Kristen Hopewell
    • Matias Ezequiel Margulis
  • The transport of live animals across European Union (EU) member states indicates socio-economic benefits of moving animals instead of meat, in spite of animal welfare. In the revision of EU animal welfare legislation for farmed animals, socio-economic reasons for long-distance, cross-border live animal transport should be considered.

    • Coen van Wagenberg
    • Willy Baltussen
  • Indigenous Peoples’ and other traditional knowledge systems are deemed ‘unscientific’ when assessed against conventional hierarchies of evidence. Science–policy processes building on the commitments of the UN Food Systems Summit must ensure that due recognition, acceptance and prominence are given to traditional knowledge.

    • Charlotte Milbank
    • Barbara Burlingame
    • Edmond Dounias
  • At the field, farm, household and market levels, multiple options exist for diversification of activities, building resilience of food systems to stresses and shocks.

    • Thomas Hertel
    • Ismahane Elouafi
    • Frank Ewert
  • Political ecology approaches are relatively absent from food systems research. With deep inequalities in food production, distribution and consumption, the study of power asymmetries is central to food justice and the co-creation of alternative futures.

    • Johanna Jacobi
    • Gabriela Valeria Villavicencio Valdez
    • Kenza Benabderrazik
  • The anticipated failure of many countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 necessitates the assessment of science–policy engagement mechanisms for food systems transformation. We explore options for enhancing existing partnerships, mandates and resources — or reimagining a new mission — for science–policy interfaces.

    • Brajesh K. Singh
    • Tom Arnold
    • Justus Wesseler
  • The dollarization of food systems’ externalities carries economic and political risks. Local democratic experiments navigate these risks by embracing both the complexity of valuation and the processes necessary for systemic political change.

    • Raj Patel