I am a passionate advocate for a food system that gives everyone access to tasty, healthy nutritious foods within environmental limits. A system which addresses hunger, malnutrition and the global obesity crisis. A system where citizens, producers, food businesses and governments work together on strategies and solutions which tackle these issues whilst reducing environmental, health and social impacts.
Today, our global food system is broken. Food sits at the heart of many of the sustainability challenges we confront in the 21st century. 821 million people are hungry. A further 1 billion are malnourished. 2 billion are overweight or obese. It contributes 20-30% of total greenhouse gas emissions and is being impacted by our warming world. 60% of all biodiversity loss can be attributed to the food system. We produce enough food today to give everyone access to healthy nutritious diets and yet, 30% of all food grown globally is wasted.
I have a vision of a sustainable food system that gives everyone access to tasty, affordable, healthy foods, and which restores planetary and human health. A system where citizens are reconnected to and reengaged with their food. I believe that sustainable nutrition is a key framework for change – it is a hugely powerful, yet effective lens to describe the overlap between sustainable food production and consumption. It brings together thinking and action on both areas to deliver better overall outcomes across the whole food system, both for human health and for the ecosystems that people and food production depend on. We need to challenge the current productivist approach to food and focus not just on how we produce food ( more food with less impact), but what kinds of foods we produce. A mindest shift is required so we start thinking about optimising numbers of people fed per hectare of land rather than tonnes of food per hectare of land. Sustainable nutrition can be used as a frame to help organisations embed sustainability at the heart of their strategies and help identify opportunities for collaboration to deliver on the ambitions as set out within the Sustainable Development Goals and global climate change commitments.
Feeding almost 10 billion people with healthy, nutritious, sustainably-produced foods won’t be easy, but it is entirely possible. It’s going to require radically different business models and new collaborations between business, governments and the civil society, which we are already starting to see emerge. Sustainable nutrition is a powerful lens for all those working in the food system, which will enable organisations to identify strategies leading to action and innovation. Through the lens of sustainable nutrition, I believe we can start reframing how we produce, consume, and value food.