Experts Alert: World Food Day


University of Guelph entrance wallOctober 16 is World Food Day, a day created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to promote worldwide action to ensure healthy diets for all.

World Food Day aims for a world where there is not only zero hunger, but access to healthy foods that nurture the planet.

As “Canada’s food university” with a 150-year history in agriculture and food research, the University of Guelph has several experts in multiple disciplines who can discuss issues related to World Food Day.


Prof. Evan Fraser
Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics
Phone: 519 824-4120 Ext. 53011

 Fraser holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and is the director of U of G’s Arrell Food Institute, which is focused on food security, food safety and sustainability.

Fraser studies links between food security, land use, and environmental and economic change. He recently led a research team that foundthat the global agricultural system currently overproduces grains, fats and sugars, while production of fruits and vegetables and protein is insufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s population.

Fraser started the “Feeding 9 Billion” project to spark discussion among youth in high school classrooms about the challenges of feeding a population that’s expected to hit 9 billion by 2050. He also advocated for the creation of a national food policy for Canada that would focus on increasing access to affordable food; improving health and food safety; growing high-quality food and conserving natural resources.


Prof. Madhur Anand
School of Environmental Sciences
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 56254

Prof. Anand is the director of the Global Ecological Change and Sustainability lab and studies ways of protecting ecosystems from human-mediated changes while sustaining global economies.

She recently completed research that examined global food production and consumption patterns and found that if the whole human population followed North American dietary guidelines, there wouldn’t be enough land to provide the food required. Her report recommended that national dietary guidelines focus not just on health but global land use, since dietary patterns can have huge effects on land use.

Given the challenges of feeding an ever-growing human population amid a changing climate, she proposes that examining diet through an interdisciplinary lens that includes environmental inquiry is essential to finding solutions that benefit people and the planet.


Prof. Silvia Sarapura
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 56786

Sarapura specializes in rural planning, gender transformative change and agri-food applied research for development in the Global South. Her research focuses on identifying and disseminating climate-smart varieties of selected crops from national gene banks and international collections, according to farmers’ needs, geographical locations, and climate-related challenges.

Her research aims to build capacity of national plant genetic resources systems and enhance partnerships in the dissemination of climate-smart, nutritionally-dense crop varieties in Ethiopia and Uganda. This applied research enhances farmers’ capacity to produce high-quality seeds. She has also been involved in an applied research project that aims to reduce malnutrition in Guatemala through the use of biofortified crop varieties in rural areas of the country where iron and zinc deficiencies are high, using varieties that are developed and suitable to the agro-ecological conditions of the region.


Prof. Michael von Massow
Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics

Phone: 519 824-4120 Ext. 56347

 Von Massow is the Ontario Agricultural College Chair in Food System Leadership and examines key food trends.  He studies many aspects of food consumption including, retail and restaurant food demand, healthy eating, food waste and changes in food prices and food value chains in response to consumer demands, trade, and other factors.

Von Massow is active in the interdisciplinary Guelph Food Waste Research Project and the Sustainable Restaurant Project. He is also concerned studies consumer perceptions of animal welfare and antibiotic use and is a member of the steering committee for the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare.


Prof. Philip Loring
Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 54315

Loring is an anthropologist and ecologist and the Arrell Chair in Food, Policy and Society. His research is concerned with sustainable food systems, human well-being, and environmental change. His research explores food security, primarily in coastal communities, as well as conflict over resources, and how communities are responding to climate change.

He is particularly interested in win-win scenarios, in which people are developing regenerative solutions to build food security and enhance biodiversity, which are the subjects of his upcoming book, Finding Our Niche. He is also the director of the Coastal Routes project, which focuses on telling stories about coastal community food systems.


Prof. Brady Deaton
Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 52765

Deaton is the McCain Family Chair in Food Security in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph.  His research focuses on the allocation of resources, within society, and the subsequent consequences for food security, economic development and environmental quality.  He has examined these issues in a number of different settings including: Canada, First Nations, the United States, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Haiti.

He founded a podcast called FARE Talk, which addresses contemporary issues in food, agricultural, and resource economics. He has served as an editor of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics and is currently the acting past-president of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.