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Global Health
June 16, 2015

Into the Woods to End Global Hunger

JAMA. 2015;313(23):2311. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5887

The world’s forests play an important role in alleviating hunger and improving nutrition and are essential to achieving food security in the face of limits to increasing agricultural production, according to an analysis compiled by the Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Food Security, entitled “Forests, Trees, and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition,” (http://bit.ly/1JgVLFn).

Put together by 60 scientists from around the world, the report shows that forests and tree-based production systems contribute to dietary diversity and quality and can provide a safety net during periods of food shortages. Forests benefit nutrition in numerous ways: tree foods are rich in vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients; forests provide environments for animals, fish, and insects; and trees support bees and other pollinators essential for crop production.