Roundtable to tackle topic of local and global malnutrition

( February 06, 2019 )

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Local, national and international food security experts and advocates are gathering at Innovation Place on February 7 to explore Canada’s role in helping alleviate one of the world’s great challenges: malnutrition.

The 2019 World Pulses Day Roundtable is part of the University of Saskatchewan Edith Rowles Simpson Lecture Series, presented by the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and Ag-West Bio.

“Living in a prosperous country, we in Canada may think of malnutrition as something far away, a problem for other countries,” says U of S researcher Carol Henry. “It is not. Malnutrition can and does exist in Canada and right in our own communities. The solutions we develop will benefit us all.”

Henry is Assistant Dean of Nutrition and Dietetics in the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. Her work focuses on understanding the complex nature of food systems. Over the past 20 years she and her colleagues in Canada and at Ethiopia’s Hawassa University have helped that country’s farmers incorporate pulse crops to enrich the soil, improve incomes, and provide much-needed protein in local diets.

Malnutrition is still “unacceptably high,” affecting every country according to the latest Global Nutrition Report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. The report states that world-wide, a full third of women of reproductive age are anemic, while 40 per cent of adults are overweight or obese. About 20 million babies are born underweight each year, and “undernutrition explains around 45 per cent of deaths among children under five.”

“This Roundtable is an excellent forum for us to look at the question of food security from a local and global perspective,” says Wilf Keller, President and CEO of Ag-West Bio. “These are immense challenges, but we also see opportunities for Saskatchewan and Canada.”

Canada is the fifth largest exporter of agricultural products in the world after the EU, U.S., Brazil and China. Oilseeds alone accounted for $7.9 billion in exports as of 2017. Three quarters of Canada’s wheat crop is exported, as is 90 per cent of its canola and 95 per cent of its pulse crop. Saskatchewan produces more than half the world’s lentils.

The 2019 World Pulses Day Roundtable will feature panelists offering diverse perspectives representing local charities, farmers, researchers, industry, students, and funding agencies. Organizations include Global Affairs Canada, Protein Industries Canada, Nutrition International, Canada 2020, Prairie Farm Brokerage, U of S, Canada Foodgrains Bank, Global Institute for Food Security, and CHEP Good Food Inc.

The Roundtable will take place on February 7 at 4:00 pm at the Candle Span Room at the Atrium, 111 Research Drive, Saskatoon.

For more information, contact:

Shawna Bieber
Project Manager
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition

Office: 306-966-2372
Mobile: 306-715-6275
shawna.bieber@usask.ca