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The 20th
March 14 & 15, 2025
at UNESCO • Paris

Find on our YouTube channel UT TV
the videos of debates and interviews of this
7th edition of the University of the Earth which took place
at UNESCO on November 25 & 26, 2022

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2005 • Feed the people, feed the world

November 19, 2005

"Feed people, feed the world" The theme of the inaugural session brought together 8,000 people at UNESCO (Paris). Food is central to man's relations with nature. The need for food governs the way we transform the natural environment, and, in addition, what we eat has a direct impact on our health, our morphology and our mental state.

With 6.3 billion inhabitants on the planet (8 billion in 2020), food is a major ecological challenge, both in terms of providing enough food for all the world's inhabitants while preserving nature, and also providing quality nourishment that does not harm man's health and his integrity.This issue so crucial to world society is therefore the central theme of the inaugural session of the Earth university held at UNESCO, an ideal venue for this new form of topical debate designed to reconcile environmental theory and economic practice. The 2005 cycle includes six discussion-debates revolving around two major queries: an increase in agricultural production and food crops is essential if we are to feed 6.3 billion individuals who do not yet all enjoy food security. But this must be done in such a way that bringing new land into cultivation does not destroy the forests (as in Amazonia and Indonesia!) with the corresponding impact on the climate, nor compromise the quality of soils, water resources and biodiversity (3). Will we be able to feed mankind while preserving the integrity of nature? Or are we moving, inevitably, towards an industrial agriculture that prospers at the expense of nature, which it replaces and turns into a desert? We are what we eat! Both our health and our personal equilibrium depend on the quality of our food. In the Western world, unhealthy eating habits and their most common ill effects – obesity, new diseases (4) – have become a dominant preoccupation. At the same time, the quantity and diversity of products have led to a decrease in deficiency diseases. How can we establish this equilibrium between quality and quantity and make it possible for man to live well both in his body and in his mind?


Jacques ATTALI
Writer, president of PlaNet Finance

Dominique BELPOMME
Oncologist, president of ARTAC

Vincent DAVID
Responsible for external relations , Max Havelaar France

Doctor in sciences of the environment, expert with the European Commission

François EWALD
Professor at CNAM

Jean-Jacques GRAISSE
Deputy executive director of the World Food Program

Nicolas HULOT
President of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Mankind

Director of the quality department of Carrefour

President of Slow Food France

Managing director of "Action against hunger"

Jean-Marie PELT
President of the European Institute of Ecology

Pascal PICQ
Paleoanthropologist at the Collège de France

Pierre RABHI
Farmer, writer, philosopher, founder of Terre et humanisme

CEO Danone

Joël de ROSNAY
Chairman of Biotics International

Marcel RUFO
Child psychiatrist


See all our speakers since 2005

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