LINKING FOOD PRODUCTION AND NUTRITION
Systems approaches to link agricultural production with food and nutrition outcomes is critical for achieving reductions in hunger and malnutrition. Recent nutrition sensitive agriculture approaches and others are seeking to better integrate our food production and nutrition systems. While much work has been done to explore potential agricultural changes from climate change, less work has focused on the implications of these changes and other climate induced impacts on food security and diet quality. These challenges will look different across the world and Meredith and the lab are exploring links between food security and climate change in multiple regions through these projects. More recently this work is considering the relationship between agricultural diversity and diet and nutritional diversity and stability, including in the context of future climate changes.
Smallholder Farmers Food Security and Diet Diversity
In collaboration with researchers at the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) program, Meredith is working to explore links between food security and climate change across countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America at multiple scales. She is exploring how smallholder households experience climate shocks and its relationship to food security, rainfall variability and smallholder food security, links between social capital at organizational and household levels and food security, and organizational networks for climate smart agriculture.
Recent work coupled climate and survey data to explore the effect of climate changes on diet diversity among children in 19 countries. Other collaborative work through the National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) demonstrated how large-scale land acquisitions affects diet diversity for local communities.
Similar work is continuing with a Gund Catalyst grant to examine relationships between food security and agricultural diversity at multiple scales. Ongoing work is coupling large datasets to explore how crop diversity relates to nutritional stability globally and across multiple regions.
In Madagascar, research led by PhD student Maya Moore examines relationships between smallholder farmer livelihoods, agricultural production and conservation implications for nearby reserves.