Laying Down Tracks podcast


We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

Food is our most intimate connection to nature. Listen now to Laying Down Tracks to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.

Search for Laying Down Tracks wherever you listen to podcasts, and subscribe to hear it first.

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Laying Down Tracks Episode 4 with Jemimah Njuki and Shakuntala Thilsted

What better way to mark World Oceans Day then listening to episode 4 of Laying Down Tracks? This week’s episode brings a fascinating discussion about planet, gender equality, and how we can best engage with the Ocean. “We need women’s voices and leadership to be prominent in food systems. It’s the only way to guarantee that food systems are just. I’ve been working as the custodian for gender equality…working with all of the Action Track leaders…to make sure that gender equality, the empowerment of women, is embedded in these solutions,” says Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lead of the Summit’s Gender Lever of Change, who joins Aaron as co-host in this conversation about equitable livelihoods, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Aquatic foods in the future can become a key forum for equality and inclusion. Guest in this episode, Shakuntala Thilsted, Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate, explains how she hopes that winning the Food Prize will inspire young women and girls to study science: “It is extremely rewarding, extremely invigorating-you can reach far - and you can have a good time!” she says.

Listen to this conversation on gender equality, and women's empowerment within the aquatic food economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.

:: Aaron Niederhelman with Jemimah Njuki and Shakuntala Thilsted

Listen on: Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google

Laying Down Tracks Episode 3 with Peter Thomson and Joao Campari

The oceans and their coastal areas are an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem hosting between 500,000 and 10 million species that provide a wide range of ecosystem services. “We cannot have a healthy planet without healthy oceans, and in any global discussion on biodiversity the ocean must be front-and-centre,” explains Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, who is a guest on this episode, co-hosted by Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3.

Approximately 3 billion people in the world rely on wild-caught and farmed seafood as a primary source of protein, while at the same time agriculture uses up 38 percent of the global land surface. Whether on land or at sea, we are using up our precious resources and destroying others that can help us recover like biodiversity. With only nine more harvests remaining on a promise to meet the SDGs by 2030, it is important we find the right balance both for the health of our planet but also for the health of people everywhere.

Listen to this conversation on nature-based solutions and the blue economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.

:: Aaron Niederhelman with Joao Campari and Peter Thomson

Listen on: Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google

Laying Down Tracks Episode 2 with Tristram Stuart, Lana Weidgenant and Webster Makombe

If food waste was a country, it'd be the third biggest global greenhouse gas emitter. “We waste at least a third of the world's food sources. So, a third of all that environmental impact is happening for no good reason, just for food to be left to rot,” said author and activist Tristram Stuart as he joins Aaron Niederhelman as co-host for this second episode. Stuart is known for his craft beer line Toast Ale, which turns a potential food waste magically into beer. That is something we can all cheers to.

He is joined by Lana Weidgenant, Deputy Director of Zero Hour International and UN Food Systems Summit Vice-Chair for Action Track 2, and Webster Makombe, a law student and youth activist from Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. Sustainable consumption is becoming more of a priority from each generation to the next says Weidgenant, while Makombe shares how local foods are changing consumption habits in Zimbabwe.

Join us to hear all about how you can change your consumption habits – and your beer choice – to create lasting changes in our food systems.

:: Aaron Niederhelman with Tristram Stuart, Lana Weidgenant and Webster Makombe

Listen on: Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google

Laying Down Tracks Episode 1 with Lawrence Haddad, Maureen Muketha and Sophie Healy-Throw

“One of the exciting things about the summit is that it brings these five different communities together. There's the community that I'm immersed in; hunger, nutrition, and food safety - but there are these other communities involved. People that are worried about climate, environment, livelihood, and resilience. Food systems affect all of those things, and all of those things affect food systems," Said Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 1, as he kicks off the conversation as co-host with Aaron Niederhelman.

The discussions in this first episode covers a lot of ground, but always seems to return to two subjects: food access, and the involvement of younger people. A successful movement lead by youth takes more than just a retweet or share; it requires meaningful conversations. Maureen Muketha, the founder of Tule Vyema, and youth activist Sophie Healy-Thow join as guests to discuss how to solve big problems tied to food access.

Tune-in to hear what’s really going on with your food in this first episode as we begin laying down tracks heading into the UN Food Systems Summit.

:: Aaron Niederhelman with Lawrence Haddad, Maureen Muketha and Sophie Healy-Thow

Listen on: Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google

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