Beginning to End Hunger presents the story of Belo Horizonte, home to 2.5 million people and the site of one of the world’s most successful food security programs. Since its Municipal Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security was founded in 1993, Belo Horizonte has sharply reduced malnutrition, leading it to serve as an inspiration for Brazil’s renowned Zero Hunger programs. The secretariat’s work with local family farmers shows how food security, rural livelihoods, and healthy ecosystems can be supported together. In this convincing case study, M. Jahi Chappell establishes the importance of holistic approaches to food security, suggests how to design successful policies to end hunger, and lays out strategies for enacting policy change. With these tools, we can take the next steps toward achieving similar reductions in hunger and food insecurity elsewhere in the developed and developing worlds.
List of Illustrations
Foreword by Frances Moore Lappé
1. Introduction: Food and Famine Futures, Past and Present
2. Food Security, Food Sovereignty, and Beginning to End Hunger
3. Belo Horizonte: All Five A’s on the Horizon
4. Multiple Streams and the Evolution of the Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security
5. Farm, Farmer, and Forest: SMASAN and the Environment
6. Conclusions: Belo Horizonte and Beyond
M. Jahi Chappell is a political agroecologist with training in ecology and evolutionary biology, science and technology studies, and chemical engineering. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University, a Fellow of FoodFirst/the Institute for Food and Development Policy, and an Adjunct Faculty member of the School of the Environment at Washington State University.
“M. Jahi Chappell’s exceptional scholarship in the food system finally gets the audience it deserves in this deeply researched and engaging work. Moving from the seats of Belo Horizonte’s state-run restaurants to the annals of world history, Chappell demonstrates a keen eye for local detail and global relevance. This book is a provocation to new thought and better action to end hunger permanently.”—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System
“Chappell illuminates how a city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte, has achieved the unthinkable—dramatic decreases in hunger and malnutrition—and skewers popular myths with logical, systematic analysis and brilliant analogies. Should be read by every person committed to ending hunger!”—Molly Anderson, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Food Studies, Middlebury College and member of International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems
“In this remarkable book, Chappell uses the case of Belo Horizonte to challenge us to be ‘active optimists.’ Pairing hope with evidence, and recognizing that the course to universal food security will never run smooth, Chappell proposes we take responsibility for a vision of a world without hunger. Beginning to End Hunger is a passionate plea against a fatalistic acceptance of poverty and in favor of promoting meaningful democracy. This is a very fine, honorable book.”—Cecilia Rocha, Professor and Associate Researcher, Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University