Frequently Asked Questions
The Nutrients for all initiative envisions a Nutrients for All world. The basic concept is creating a world where natural ecosystems, farms, food and people have access to the nutrients that they need to thrive. But it goes way beyond that, we need to change the incentives within the system to move it towards a true Nutrient Economy
A Nutrient Economy highlights the economic opportunity to conduct exchanges between natural ecosystems, farms, foods and people based upon nutrient values. This framework also allows for the development of new innovations, collaborations and initiatives that bring vitality to people and the planet.
We have the blueprint for this Nutrient Economy framework, but we need your help in defining the steps and initiatives that can make it happen. Join us by helping to define what this economy will look like.
What does a Nutrients for All world look like?
In a Nutrients for All world, the walls between the fields of natural environment, agriculture, food and human wellness should be brought down. The connections between these fields, via nutrient flow, would be explicit and perhaps even monetized to establish the incentives needed for change. For example, when foods are valued based on their nutrient content, it will be an incentive for farmers and food companies to produce those foods.
We would understand the important role nutrients play in sustaining healthy natural ecosystems, productive and healthy farming, nourishing foods and human wellness. People would demand that nutrients are enhanced and preserved along every step of this nutrient value chain.
Vitality means more than healthy – it means living to the fullest for people and for the natural environment.
For people, it is the ability to participate fully in school, work, home and community, which is ultimately possible only when our landscapes and food crops are also living to their fullest potential. While traditional healthcare focuses on people who are sick, wellness focuses on a broader range of factors that prevent illness to begin with; a focus on vitality seeks to ensure that people can use their skills, muscles, brainpower and creativity to the maximum.
In the same way, while traditional environmental protection usually emphasizes the prevention of pollution or other environmental degradation, vitality emphasizes the power powerful force of a healthy natural environment. This natural environment will promote growth and regeneration to produce the nutrients and other resources that are necessary for life on Earth like clean air and water that fuel economic activity including agriculture, and that provide resilience against natural and economic disasters.
Vitality and beauty are gifts of nature for those who live according to its laws.
Leonardo Da Vinci.
How did this idea come about?
The Nutrient Economy concept emerged from observing the work of Ashoka Ashoka Fellows in rural farming. Many Fellows were focusing on addressing malnutrition, and many of those people who were malnourished were in fact farmers. hey were surrounded by food, but did not have all of the nutrients they needed to live lives of vitality.
From this, we began to think about the connections between people and food, food and farming, and farming and the natural ecosystem. We began to see that the key connector between these areas was nutrients – nutrient abundance in a healthy ecosystem helps create nutrient-rich soils for farming; farming methods that enhance and retain then nutrient content of raw foods (grains, fruits and vegetables) in turn have a greater potential to maintain wellness in people.
We became to understand not only the central role of nutrients in the food value chain and in human health and vitality, but also to identify opportunities to build activities and change incentives around these nutrients could be the currency by which transactions between different parts of the value chain were made. For instance, what if we valued vegetables by their nutrient content instead of their weight? Hence, the idea of a Nutrient Economy was born.