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CMDS333 Wicked Problem 2019: Web Resources


Web Resources - Sustainable Agriculture


Web Resources: Hunger and Malnutrition

The following literature is recommended for gaining more context around the wicked problem of hunger and malnutrition. The first section includes core readings that all students should review to understand the wicked problem, and the second section includes other readings that may be useful for group projects.

Core Readings


Garnett, T., Benton, T., Nicholson, W., & Finch, J. (2016). Overview of food system challenges (Foodsource: chapters). Food Climate Research Network, University of Oxford. Retrieved from https://foodsource.org.uk/sites/default/files/chapters/pdfs/foodsource_chapter_1.pdf

    This chapter provides background information on food systems and discusses economic, environmental, and social issues in food systems.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO). (2018). The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2018. Building climate resilience for food security and nutrition. Rome, FAO. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/I9553EN/i9553en.pdf

    This report is very long, so we recommend looking at Figure 5 from this report (p. 14), which is included in Appendix A at the end of this document. The figure discusses the overlap between nutrition and the other SDGs. This figure is a great example of systems thinking, showing how wicked problems are all interconnected.

Part 2 also provides a comprehensive overview of how climate change will impact food security and nutrition. Table 7 discusses which countries will most likely be impacted by specific climate shocks, which may be useful in scoping the group project (p. 59).

United Nations Statistics Division. (2016). The Sustainable Development Goals report 2016: goal 2. United Nations Statistics Division. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-02/

    The United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals to address major economic, environmental, and social problems facing the international community. Goal 2 focuses specifically on hunger, malnutrition, and sustainable agriculture. The report discusses statistics that provide an overview of food-related problems and progress in achieving the goals.

World Food Programme. (2017). 2017 – hunger map. Retrieved from https://www.wfp.org/content/2017-hunger-map?_ga=2.210561813.1026145589.1546011207-1055218426.1546011207

    The World Food Programme (WFP) published a map that shows the prevalence of undernourishment in the population from 2014-2016 in countries around the world. This map may help identify problem areas and scope group projects.

Let’s add some contrasting perspective:

Bull, Marion. (2014) Dan Barber on Sustainability and the Future of Food, Food 52, May 20, 2014. Retrieved from https://food52.com/blog/10418-dan-barber-on-sustainability-and-the-future-of-food

This discusses the culinary aspects of traditional diets and how we’ve moved away from these more sustainable traditions.


Pollan, Michael. (2016). Big Food Strikes Back:  Why did the Obamas fail to take on corporate agriculture. NY Times Magazine, October 5, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/09/magazine/obama-administration-big-food-policy.html?module=inline

    Industrial food complex...

Henderson, Elizabeth, (2018)  Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal. The Prying Mantis. Retrieved from https://thepryingmantis.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/why-sustainable-agriculture-should-support-a-green-new-deal/

    More of a local NYS perspective


Other Recommended Readings


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2018). Transforming food and agriculture to achieve the SDGs: 20 interconnected actions to guide decision-makers. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/CA1647EN/ca1647en.pdf

FIGURE 2: The 5 principles of Sustainable Food and Agriculture. Source: FAO, 2014b



Improving efficiency in the use of resources is crucial to sustainable agriculture


Enhanced resilience of people, communities and ecosystem is key to sustainable agriculture


Agriculture that fails to protect and improve rural livelihoods, equity and social well-beings is



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