Reform At All Levels Needed To Ensure Sustainable Food Systems

Financial Times: Why we need to talk about a healthier way of feeding the world
Andrew Jack, FT global education editor

“…A Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems estimated in January that unhealthy diets account for up to 11m avoidable premature deaths globally each year, posing a greater risk of illness and death than unsafe sex, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco combined. … Reversing course will not be easy. Governments and regulators must play a more interventionist role, from investment in basic education and encouragement of cooking and better nutrition, to tougher regulation of advertising for unhealthy foods and taxes on unhealthy ingredients. The price of food should reflect its true costs, including the wider environmental burden of current production methods. … Agri-food companies need to invest in forms of production that are more intensive but less damaging to biodiversity. … Restaurants and supermarkets also need to cut waste, including through suitable portion sizes. People must also take responsibility, shifting away from meat and dairy, adapting tastes, cutting down on waste, and appreciating the value of ‘slow food’ by cooking and eating together. Without more imaginative, varied diets and other ways to eat more healthily, as the Lancet Commission concludes, we will end up diet-poor and planet-poor…” (3/11).