Food systems and sustainability – the contribution of nutrition
EFAD is very proud to have prof. Tim Lang from the City University of London as one of the keynote speakers. Prof. Lang has engaged in public and academic research and debate about food policy for 38 years. He founded the Centre for Food Policy at City University of London in 1994 and directed it until 2016. He is a renowned expert and published author in the field of sustainability and ecological public health
Nutrition and dietetic sciences can no longer ignore the rising environmental crisis from food production and consumption. Dietitians and nutritionists can and must help address the mismatch between global dietary trends, population health and planetary ecosystems.
Change is slow
The evidence for change is now very powerful, but change is slow. Dietetics and Nutrition have positive roles to help shift consumption towards a sustainable state.
The 2019 EAT-Lancet Commission (Willett et al, Food in the Anthropocene, The Lancet, January 2019) modelled the case for change on a planetary basis. The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brought together 37 world-leading scientists from across the globe to answer this question:
Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries? Dietitians can help translate the need for ‘planetary diets’ for different places.
New policy goals
New policy goals are needed if Europe is to achieve the goal of sustainable diets from sustainable food systems. Change is needed at multiple levels: domestic everyday life, towns and regions, nations and globally. What the problem is, and what needs to happen, varies by area, because eating patterns, wealth and geography vary within and between nations, and across Europe. This paper considers change at Europe, national and local levels. It suggests that there must be a cultural transition as well as an economic and supply transition.
Nutrition and dietetics can help bridge the social and biological sciences. People need help to translate the complex messages from science.
Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy, at City University of London since 2002. He was a hill farmer in the 1970s. He researches food’s link to health, environment, culture and political economy. He co-authored Sustainable Diets (2017) and was policy lead on the EAT-Lancet Commission (2019). His new book on UK food security is published by Penguin in March 2020.