Knowledge for better food systems

Open access update – Tara Garnett’s Science perspective piece

The article ‘Plating up solutions’ by Tara Garnett in the journal Science, which we circulated in last week’s newsletter, has now been made available open access to FCRN’s readership.

In the Perspective article, Tara Garnett articulates the need for a strong policy focus on sustainable healthy diets, and assesses the current state of research and understanding on the relationship between health and sustainability. Existing studies highlight the high environmental impacts and damaging health effects of typical Western diets, that are increasingly consumed around the world. They also show that synergies between diets that are healthier than the current norm and lower in greenhouse gas emissions are possible, even if this alignment is not automatic. Less understood is the relationship between health and a broader range of sustainability concerns - that is, non-climate-related environmental aspects such as biodiversity, as well as socio-economic and cultural dimensions. A major gap in our knowledge is on how to effect shifts in consumption patterns. Finally, she points out that values frame and inform which issues or options are considered or ignored as matters of concern, which sustainability dimensions prioritised, which interventions considered researchable and fundable, and whose voice counts. To be successful policies must take account of the values that not only shape diets but also underlie research and advocacy.

The article is available open access, see more here.